Wealdstone FC 2 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet, Saturday 7th March 2020

From wealdstone-fc.com

Wealdstone completed a dramatic second half comeback at The Vale against Dulwich Hamlet in the National League South.

Two goals in two minutes from Michee Efete and Sanchez Watt cancelled out Jeff Monakana’s first half penalty, as the Stones sit five points clear at the top of the table.

Stones Manager Dean Brennan made one change from the side that drew at Dartford last weekend, with Jake Sheppard slotted into left-back for the injured Jacob Mendy.

Brennan was forced into a last-minute swap to the starting line-up when Connor Stevens was injured in the warm-up, striker Ross Lafayette stepped in for the Stones and Kreshnic Krasniqi came into the match day squad on the bench.

Both teams were easing their way into the game in the early stages, no opportunities came until the 25th minute when former Stone Monakana played Danny Mills through and forced Aston Oxborough into a spontaneous save.

The game sprung into life just after the half-hour mark when Lionel Ainsworth stuck a fierce shot which cannoned off the bar and fell to Mills who won a penalty from Oxborough’s foul.

Monakana was given the penalty duties and forced Oxborough to dive the wrong way to calmly give the visitors the lead.

It was not a first half to remember for the league leaders, they found their feet at the start of the second half when impact substitutes Watt and Ryan Sellers entered the game before the hour-mark.

The changes that the Hamlet made also benefitted the Stones, Mills’ presence was removed from the game as well as midfield screener Christian Smith.

Wealdstone found balance with their substitutions and Efete’s towering header from Ashley Charles’ corner gave the Stones new life.

The Vale was sent into pandemonium as just two minutes later, substitute Watt glanced Danny Green’s cross into the bottom corner and the game had switched on its head completely.

The leaders kept threatening the Hamlet goal moments later, Watt looked to have threaded through Dennon Lewis until the linesman raised his flag.

It began to get nervy as Dulwich looked for an equaliser themselves, Ainsworth was provided the golden chance when he scuffed his effort inside the penalty box in the final 10 minutes.

Wealdstone saw out the game to confirm their 15th home league win of the season, with 69 points achieved going into the final 10 games of the season.

Report by Dec O’Reilly

The Stones are back in National League South action on Saturday 14th March away at Chippenham Town, kick-off is at 3pm.

Wealdstone: Oxborough, Efete, Sheppard (Sellers, 57), Phillips, Okimo, Charles, Green, Clifford (Watt, 58), Emmanuel (Krasniqi, 87), Lafayette, Lewis.

Subs not used: Ringer, McCoy.

Dulwich Hamlet: Grainger, McCoy, N. Smith, Taylor, David, Orlu, Monakana (Kearney, 75), C. Smith (Monlouis, 65), Mills (Mullings, 57), Barbosa, Ainsworth.

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