Bristol Manor Farm 0 – 0 Wealdstone FC, Saturday 5th October 2019

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Wealdstone were held to a 0-0 stalemate on their travels against Bristol Manor Farm in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.

The best chances for the Stones fell to defender Connor Stevens who hit the post before half-time, while top scorer Ross Lafayette’s penalty was saved in the second period as the Farm earn a replay.

The home side were handed the first opportunity of the game within the opening five minutes as Joe Tumelty’s shot from the edge of the box was on-target but did not trouble Stones ‘keeper Aston Oxborough.

Wealdstone’s first half-chance fell to in-form Dennon Lewis in the 18th minute. After good link-up play between Nick Arnold and Jacob Mendy on the right, the latter squared it to Lewis in the box but was unable to convert.

The home side started brightly but the Stones were starting to gain ascendency in the game. Following Jerome Okimo’s cross from the left in the 25th minute, Mendy attempted a trademark left-footed strike from outside the penalty area which flew wide.

Stones full-back Michee Efete was gifted an opportunity after winning the ball high up the pitch, his curling effort from the left couldn’t find the near-post.

An onslaught of attacks from the National League South leaders included efforts from winger Lewis, centre-half Okimo and midfielder Billy Clifford were blocked and saved by Farm ‘keeper Ben John.

John was called into action 10 minutes before the half-time break when Danny Green’s winding run resulted in another save from the shot-stopper.

The Farm had a chance to break the deadlock three minutes before the interval when Jamie Bird was set through on-goal but Stevens was able to chase down and intercept the strike.

Wealdstone came with an instant reply to score before half-time themselves when Stevens was picked out at the back-post by Billy Clifford’s corner and Stevens’ effort cannoned off the inside of the post but went agonisingly wide.

The game reached half-time and the Stones appeared to grasp a stronger grip on the game after Stevens’ close-effort almost broke the deadlock, but the game was goalless.

There were early problems for Bristol Manor Farm at the start of the second half caused by Lewis at the start of the second half, as his curling effort from the edge of the box was awkwardly saved by John.

Just shy of the hour-mark and the Stones were awarded a penalty after Stevens was hacked down in the 18-yard box.

After various altercations, Lafayette’s penalty was low to John’s right and he was equal to the effort to keep the tie goalless.

The home side almost took advantage of the penalty miss moments later when Jamie Adams’ drive from the right dragged away from the far-post.

Lafayette persisted to find an opener and he glanced Stevens’ cross from the right across goal and just wide of the near-post.

The most threatening player in the second half for the Stones was Lewis and after chipping the ball over John in the area, he was denied by a fantastic goal-line clearance by Steve Kingdon with less than 10 minutes to go.

Both teams looked to push and progress to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, but the match finished goalless and a replay will decide the result of this tie.

The Stones will next to in action this Tuesday at The Vale against Bristol Manor Farm in the FA Cup third qualifying round replay, kick-off will be at 7:45pm.

Report by Dec O’Reilly

Wealdstone: Oxborough, Arnold, Efete, Clifford, Stevens, Okimo, Phillips (Smith, 66), Mendy (Watt, 74), Lafayette, Green, Lewis.

Subs not used: Ringer, Charles, Saunders.

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