Match Report by Nick DuGard: Monday, 18 January 2016: National League South: Wealdstone 1 Gosport Borough 1
Wealdstone’s capacity to concede late, late goals dented an otherwise excellent, battling performance at a freezing cold Freebets.co.uk Stadium on Monday night.
Stones put in a shift with a high tempo work rate and gritty determination, dominating an entertaining National League South match that kept the 506 crowd on their frost bitten toes – particularly in a frenetic second period.
A moment of high controversy marred the game however with ten minutes to go. Gosport keeper Nathan Ashmore who had undoubtedly kept his side in contention through proceedings with a fine performance between the sticks appeared to strike Johnny Wright off the ball in a nasty looking incident in the area.
Referee Mr A Degnarain who had already had an increasingly challenging match clearly had his back to the incident and the Assistant Referee didn’t flag for an offence against Wright. With the Bulla end crowd baying for atonement the main official merely and bizarrely booked the towering Ashmore for something he could not possibly have seen. It was either a sending off or no offence and the fact that the Assistant Referee was not even consulted was also surprising, to say the least.
The away side were out of the traps fastest but it was Stones that looked the more composed and they soon adapted better to the heavy conditions following the recent snow fall. An early strike from the energetic Jefferson Louis fizzed just wide.
Then another powerful run and cross from Wealdstone’s big front man just evaded the onrushing Wright. Stones showed much better sharpness and movement and ball retention was good, keeping Borough from forming attacks of any real purpose.
But Stones main threat came from the ever lively Bradley Hudson-Odoi and he was a real thorn in the side of the Borough defence, jinking and turning their back line at every opportunity when he got clear. The former Met Police wide man was desperately unlucky with a couple of efforts as the half wore on.
Gosport’s best and only real chance of the first period came just before the break from a free kick when Justin Bennett’s free kick flew just over Sam Howes cross bar.
The second half was only seconds old when Hudson-Odoi’s strike took a deflection and for once Ashmore was left flaying as Stone took a well deserved lead at last.
Stones piled on the pressure in search of doubling their lead but again Ashmore kept them out from a Louis header.
Borough still presented a threat and if anything improved with their counter attacks after they conceded, breaking accurately and with pace.
Stones should have made the game comfortable mid half when Elliott Godfrey poked wide when well placed following an excellent build up.
Jack Smith then went on a great mazy run and broke into the box but his strike was well saved by the overworked Ashmore.
But with 92 minutes on the clock Borough slung in a cross to the far post and Dan Wooden leapt highest to net the equaliser to stun the now very vociferous home crowd who vented their displeasure on Gosport’s Manager who unwisely appeared to goad the crowd as he left the pitch.
Wealdstone: Howes, McLeod-Urquhart, Smith, Cadmore, Hamblin, Godfrey, Wright, Harriott, Louis, Davies, Hudson-Odoi. Subs used: Ball , Lucien. Not used: Parker, McGleish.