Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette - - Front Page -

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

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