Bath City 0 – 0 Wealdstone FC, Saturday 7th December 2019

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Table toppers Wealdstone returned to league action on Saturday afternoon, as they travelled to face fellow promotion contenders Bath City at Twerton Park, intent on cementing their position at the summit of the National League South.

The highly anticipated clash of the heavyweights ended in a goalless draw between the Stones and the Romans, as the visitors claimed a well-deserved point and clean sheet away from home.

Manager Dean Brennan made one change to the starting line-up which defeated Concord Rangers last week, with midfielder Billy Clifford replacing defensive stalwart Connor Stevens, who was unavailable due to suspension.

The Stones were close to taking the lead in sublime style in the 4th minute, when Jack Jebb’s corner to the far post found Michael Phillips, who headed down to William Edjenguele; he then attempted a fantastic acrobatic bicycle kick, which looped just over the crossbar.

The opening period of the match was fairly tight and even, with neither side able to gain ascendancy; nor dominate possession or proceedings.

The Romans first real threat on goal came in the 29th minute, as Noah Chilvers surged through to the edge of the box and fired a fierce shot, which narrowly blazed over the crossbar.

As half-time approached, the Stones began to generate a few more cohesive and fluid passages of play, with Jebb playing a delightful defence-splitting through ball to Dennon Lewis in the 39th minute, but Ryan Clarke was quick off of his line to gather for the Romans.

On the stroke of half-time, Wealdstone were close to seizing the lead, as Jacob Mendy latched onto a loose ball and drove a low effort on target, prompting Clarke to make an awkward save to preserve the score line for the home side.

After a goalless first half, the Stones resumed the second half in a determined fashion, with Michee Efete bursting down the right wing to whip in a teasing cross, which rebounded off of the crossbar, in the 50th minute.

Five minutes later, Wealdstone were again close to assuming the lead, as Phillips released Mendy down the right wing, where he cut inside and struck a shot which rolled agonisingly past the far post.

As the second half progressed, the match began to become more open and stretched, with end-to-end action, as both sides pressed for a coveted goal to break the deadlock.

In the 75th minute, the Romans were close to taking the lead as Adam Mann struck a brilliant first-time volley, which dipped just over the crossbar.

Another quick counter attack by the hosts in stoppage time saw Chilvers cut side and fire from the left-hand side of the box, but his effort flew past the far post.

The match finished in a stalemate, with both teams cancelling each other out, as defence prevailed in the clash of the titans, with Phillips producing a man of the match performance for the Stones, in the heart of defence.

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee

The Stones are back in National League South action on Tuesday 10th December when the league leaders host Eastbourne Borough at The Vale, kick-off is at 7:45pm.

Wealdstone: Isted, Efete, Edjenguele, Clifford, Charles, Okimo, Phillips, Mendy, Lafayette (Noel-Williams, 85), Jebb (Green, 65), Lewis (Arnold, 90).

Subs not used: Smith, Shomotun.

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