STONES SO CLOSE TO COMEBACK IN DRAMATIC GAME
COMEBACK DENIED BY CITY KEEPER’S PENALTY SAVE
WEALDSTONE had Chelmsford City on the ropes after fighting back from 3-0 down, but ultimately lost their home National League South clash 3-2 to the Essex side.
The match exploded into life in a second-half of high drama and heartstopping entertainment for the crowd of 856.
Wealdstone almost came back from the dead and could well have won the game when they had Chelmsford penned back late on, but Danny Green’s penalty was saved by Nathan McDonald – a score that would have brought the home side a deserved equaliser on 69 minutes.
The massively under pressure City somehow held out for the three points with a combination of luck and, for the home fans, gut wrenchingly poor finishing from Stones.
After a relatively even and somewhat scrappy start to the game, Stones had a slight edge but found themselves constantly being pressed hard by a typically physically powerful and well-organised Clarets side.
Stones’ bad luck first struck on 14 minutes when David Pratt’s headed goal was ruled out for off side. Rhys Tyler, who was a threat to City all afternoon, shot wide soon after as Stones probed for openings.
Just when Stones seemed to be gaining a real foothold in the contest, the away side took the lead with a spectacular strike from Michael Spillane. The big defender astutely spotted keeper Jon North off his line and, from fully 50 yards out, lofted the ball over the stopper, who was left desperately clutching thin air.
This knocked the stuffing out of Stones, coming as it did against the run of play, and they never really recovered in the first period as 10 minutes later they went further behind when Rhys Murphy powered a header past North from an excellent Matthew Young cross.
Stones needed a spark of inspiration to breath some life back into their game, but within four minutes of the restart they conceded a third goal from a Tommy Wraight strike and looked down and out at 3-0.
Within two minutes, however, Stones had pulled a goal back when Max Porter bounced the ball into his own net from a goalmouth scramble.
Suddenly, with the belief of a goal, Wealdstone awoke from their slumbers and with nothing more to lose went on all-out attack.
Green struck over when well placed from another Tyler, cross but the catalyst for their revival came when sub Stefan Brown was introduced.
It was then the charge of the light brigade as the Stones carved out chance after chance, none more so than when Bradley Hudson-Odoi miscued in front of goal after a great turn by Bradley Bubb.
Brown then chased down a lost cause and McDonald sliced his clearance out and the same player almost doubled his tally with a close effort. Brown finally got the reward for his efforts and seized on a great pass and netted with aplomb on 68 minutes. It was now all Wealdstone who sensed they had the momentum to equalise and to go on and win the game.
The unrelenting pressure finally told when a handball in the City area gave Stones the chance they needed to level the scores. The normally very reliable Green hit the penalty low and hard, but somehow McDonald pushed the ball out for a corner and the hosts were left to rue missed chances.
Bradley Bubb hits the post for Wealdstone FC as they lose 3-2 at home to Chelmsford City