Match Report by Nick DuGard: Saturday, 27 February 2016: National League South:
Wealdstone 4 Basingstoke Town 4
This was a hugely entertaining game for the neutrals in the 641 crowd but both management teams would have been pulling their hair out in frustration at respectivedefensive lapses.
Stones came away from this breathless clash feeling the happier with a last gasp, added time, equaliser from Bradley Hudson-Odoi after they had effectively pushed four up in a desperate attempt to pull back the half time 1-3 deficit.
Wealdstone have gone unbeaten in the month of February but with only one win and four draws. Again illustrating the tightness of the league placings this point was enough to lift Stones to 13th position but in a tenuous situation
Wealdstone started brightly enough and took the lead after 6 minutes from a great 25 yard strike from star man Matty Harriott. But the Dragons hit back and were finding their men in good attacking positions. Wright for Stones clipped wide but then Wealdstone were rocked when inexplicably poor defending allowed Liam Enver-Marum to lash home.
Stones were now struggling in the midfield with gaping holes opening up and wereconstantly second to the ball. On 22 mins Stoke took the lead with a carbon copy of their first when a loose ball was rifled in by Manny Willams.
Stones dropped back and under pressure conceded again just prior to half time when the unmarked Jack Deaman headed home a corner at the far post.
Stones had an uphill battle to say the least but came out in the second half with some purpose and went straight on the attack, playing down the slope into a noisy Bulla end.
Stones brought two attacking subs on and went for it. This paid off as pressure from the home side finally brought a goal from Johnny Wright who lashed home off the upright.
But Dragons hit back to seemingly kill off Stones hopes with a Glen Southam effort for 2-4 to again expose the home side’s defensive vulnerability. Stones rallied and reduced the deficit to the single goal albeit fortuitously when Harriott’s strike cannoned off a defender and sailed past the out of position Lincoln for 3-4
The Dragons time wasting efforts, particularly from their keeper Lincoln and Manny Williams who bizarrely refused to leave the pitch when substituted, now came back to haunt them as the officials added 6 minutes of stoppage time
With the home crowd roaring on the home side, Stones eventually – and deservedly -snatched a dramatic late equaliser from Hudson- Odoi in added time to end a frantic match that will have Gordon Bartlett scratching what little hair he has left.
Wealdstone: Taylor, Urquhart, Binns (Ball 78), Parker, Cadmore, Godfrey (Lucien 56), Wright, Harriott, Morgan (Louis 56), Davies, Hudson-Odoi Subs not used: Orenuga, McGleish