Wealdstone were eliminated from the FA Cup in the Fourth Qualifying Round replay against Maidenhead United at The Vale on Tuesday evening.
Two goals from Josh Kelly, either side of a controversial Jacob Mendy red card and half-time, sent the Magpies into the First Round Proper.
The game began at a relatively slow pace and the visitors capitalised after 15 minutes when Kelly timed his run to perfection and slotted past Aston Oxborough.
One goal could have quickly become two for the Magpies when Remy Clerima headed James Comley’s cross goal bound; Oxborough dived to his right to parry the ball away from danger.
After a strong Stones performance on Saturday, the recovery from going behind was almost instant but Dennon Lewis’ left-footed drive was dragged wide following slick build-up play.
Wealdstone needed to find a response and it almost fell to Danny Green on the right, the narrow angle allowed Chris Dunn to save at the near-post.
Alan Devonshire’s side restricted the home side to half-chances throughout the first half, with Green’s effort being the highlight of the opening period for the Stones.
Mendy seemed to have headed a long-ball back to Oxborough on the stroke of half-time, but referee Paul Howard deemed a foul on Clerima and Mendy was sent off as the last man.
The red card sucked the life out of the already-uninspiring game overall and the Stones’ FA Cup campaign was in jeopardy of coming to an end.
Wealdstone had to come out quickly in the second half and change the tempo, which would be difficult for any side that were down to ten-men.
The Magpies doubled their lead ten minutes after the interval as Kelly drilled a left-footed strike across goal, off the post and into the net.
It was an uphill climb for the Stones at this point, who battled hard for 180 minutes with no luck.
The tie could have taken a twist when Wealdstone midfielder Billy Clifford’s free-kick from 25-yards forced an acrobatic save from Chris Dunn in the final 20 minutes.
Wealdstone kept going even in the closing stages, substitute Ashley Charles struck an indirect free-kick low which was cleared off the line ten minutes from time.
The game eventually petered out, with the Stones unable to emulate the late heroics that their opponents pulled off in the previous fixture just three days earlier.
With ten-men, there was no doubting the home side’s commitment. However, a packed and experienced Magpies side allowed their National League quality to shine through in the end.
The Stones return to league action and will look to bounce back this Saturday when we host visitors Tonbridge Angels, kick-off is at 3pm at The Vale.
Report by Dec O’Reilly
Wealdstone: Oxborough, Mendy, Efete, Clifford (Charles, 79), Stevens, Okimo, Phillips, Watt (Sheppard, 45), Lafayette (Smith, 58), Green, Lewis.
Subs not used: Ringer, Saunders, Coker, Arnold.