Wealdstone’s mid-season friendly with Hayes & Yeading United ended in a 2-1 victory for the Stones at The Vale on Tuesday evening.
A late first half chip from Phil Roberts gave the Stones a half-time lead. Omar Rowe equalised in the second half for Hayes & Yeading before Trialist C cancelled out Hayes’ equaliser.
Paul Hughes’ United almost took the lead inside four minutes in this friendly, an exquisite through-ball by Scott Donnelly left the whole Stones defence flat-footed.
Donnelly found Rowe who attempted an audacious chip to catch Stones goalkeeper Jonathan North off his goal-line. Rowe’s effort was poor and sailed miserably over the bar.
Both teams received time on the ball in the early stages of this friendly but Wealdstone created their first chance just before the 15th minute.
Reece Beckles-Richards found space on the right-hand channel and produced a perfect cross aimed at Dejon Noel-Williams however, the striker was unable to guide his header past ‘keeper Jack Smith.
It was clear Beckles-Richards caused Hayes & Yeading left-back Dan Spence a few problems early on, his cross eight minutes later was cut-out by Smith.
Noel-Williams also looked hungry to break into the regular Wealdstone squad, he was laid through on-goal by Phil Roberts two minutes later but Smith make an expert save.
While the signed Stones players were looking to stake a claim in the starting 11, two trialists also looked to make a name for themselves.
Trialist A launched a fierce strike from range in the 30th minute which went just wide of Smith’s far-post.
The Stones received a golden opportunity to open the scoring two minutes later, Matty Saunders’ free-kick was floated to Afolabi Coker at the back-post, who somehow couldn’t find the target.
While Wealdstone seemed on top, Hayes & Yeading nearly broke the deadlock 10 minutes before half-time.
Trialist’s cross from the right found ex-Stone Elliot Benyon in the six-yard box and somehow missed the target.
Hayes & Yeading failed to score again five minutes later, Trialist on the right drove the ball low to the back-post and found Toby Little who also couldn’t find the target.
North was troubled just before the break when Dan Spence’s extremely long-range drive was awkwardly saved by the returning goalkeeper.
The deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of half-time when Roberts was away through on-goal and delightfully chipped the ball over Smith into the net.
Wealdstone started the second half 1-0 ahead but Hayes & Yeading had the earliest chance in the second period when former Stone Ogo Obi headed an effort over the bar eight minutes into the half.
Hayes & Yeading dominated the second half and were finally rewarded in the 68th minute after Little’s low cross in was fumbled by North and Rowe profited to slot home.
With the game drawing level, Wealdstone swiftly equalised five minutes later when Trialist C’s creative dribble from the left resulted in a low strike into the bottom corner.
The Stones almost found a third goal four minutes from full-time when Saunders dribbled past Smith but unfortunately cannoned his shot off the post.
The game ended with 90 minutes under the belt of many Stones players who have yet to complete a full game this season.
There were positives to take from this friendly for Wealdstone, including a great performance from Roberts as well as a return for North.
Wealdstone: North (Ringer, 75), Trialist A, Trialist B (Malunda, 87), Saunders, Coker, Songolo, Beckles-Richards, Sheppard (Perrin, 75), Noel-Williams, Roberts (Esprit, 72), Watt (Trialist C, 72).
Subs not used: None.
Report by Dec O’Reilly