Match Report by Nick DuGard: Saturday, 2 April 2016: National League South:
Wealdstone 3 Havant & Waterlooville 2
Wealdstone emerged triumphant after an amazing second half turnaround at the Freebets.co.uk Stadium on Saturday. Looking dead and buried at two goals down Stones surged back to a truly magnificent 3-2 victory in the final 30 minutes of pulsating play.
Ironically though, the first half had been a drab and scrappy affair with no sign of what was to come later.
The Hawks had a slight edge over possession and chances in the first period and the away side displayed plenty of neat build up but little end product.
This was exemplified by a miss from Matt Paterson on 36 minutes who fluffed his lines with most of the goal to aim at leaving Jonathan North untroubled.
But Stones battled away with their best effort falling to Johnny Wright who powered a header wide of the mark from Josh Urquhart’s excellent cross.
Both defences worked hard with centre half Tom Hamblin outstanding for the home side.
After the break it was Havant that initially looked the more composed and likely to break the deadlock with Stones looking stretched.
On 60 minutes Hawks won a free kick in a dangerous position and dead ball specialist Scott Donnelly curled the ball brilliantly past North who almost got to it but the effort was inch perfect.
Stones were rocked when just a minute later slack defending allowed James Hayter the freedom of the park and he lashed home with North completelyexposed
Jefferson Louis then replaced the injured Scot McGleish and immediately there was a change in fortunes as the big striker continually put pressure on the Hawks back line.
Within 6 minutes Stones had pulled a goal back. After Jefferson Louis’ initial strike, Wes Parker forced the ball home. Scott Davies supplied the assist from a hotly contested free kick.
Stones now sensed a dramatic comeback and piled forward with all subs now on. The best move of the match saw Nathan Mavila take the ball forward in midfield with pace; his pass to Louis was laid off superbly for Swansea City Loanee James Demetriou to make no mistake from 15 yards out.
Havant were now reeling and with the Bulla Stand in full voice the turnaround was dramatically completed with 5 minutes remaining. A ball into the Havant box almost resulted in an og – the ball rebounded to Johnny Wright who unerringly scored with the outside of his boot; cue mayhem.
Hawks had two strong penalty claims turned down at the death but Stones saw out the match with some great defending.
Wealdstone: North, Urquhart, Binns, Parker, Hamblin, Godfrey, Wright, Cadmore (Mavila 60), McGleish (Louis 45), Davies, Hudson-Odoi (Demetriou 64) Subs not used: Lucien, Smith