STONE SQUEEZE THROUGH INTO NEXT FA CUP ROUND

WEALDSTONE OVER­COME STUB­BORN ROVERS TO PROGRESS IN FA CUP

Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette - - Front Page -

WEALDSTONE pro­gressed into the third qual­i­fy­ing round of the FA Cup after a stut­ter­ing start to their sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing round tie against a stub­born Great Wak­er­ing Rovers.

Sec­ond-half goals from Fum­naya Sho­mo­tun and Con­nor Stevens saw Bobby Wilkinson’s side through, but they had to be pa­tient against a bat­tling vis­it­ing side.

In an awk­ward first-half played out in driv­ing rain, Stones found it frus­trat­ingly hard to break down Rovers, who un­sur­pris­ingly de­fended in depth and con­tin­u­ally caught the home side’s for­wards off­side.

Both sides still had chances to take lead, how­ever sloppy play and poor

fi­nal balls meant that sev­eral good op­por­tu­ni­ties went beg­ging in both goal­mouths.

In fact Stones could have taken the lead within a minute of the first whis­tle through Wadah Ah­midi, but Rovers weath­ered a dif­fi­cult patch when un­der pres­sure and al­most grabbed a goal on the counter when Brandy Mo­keni broke free and drew a fine save from Jon North on 23 min­utes. That was after Wak­er­ing had struck the up­right after some way­ward de­fend­ing from the home side pro­vid­ing a sharp wake up call.

Five min­utes later Stones were awarded a clear spot-kick when Bradley Bubb was bun­dled over by keeper Coey Turipa.

Typ­i­cal of the poor fin­ish­ing of the half, Ste­fan Brown’s penalty was com­fort­ably saved.

Wor­ry­ingly for Wealdstone, Bubb went down in­jured just after the half-hour mark and hob­bled off, re­placed by Jef­frey Mon­akana.

The sec­ond-half saw far more de­ter­mi­na­tion and at­tack­ing threat from Wealdstone as they pressed for­ward with more con­vic­tion as Rovers were penned back in their own half.

Rovers at­tempted to slow the pace down with time-wast­ing tac­tics to hang on to a draw, but as they came un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure, more space started to open up for the hosts.

Stones fi­nally made the break­through on 66 min­utes with a smart piece of fin­ish­ing from Sho­mo­tun with a strike just out­side the area and there seemed to be no way back for Rovers from that point on.

Wealdstone then cre­ated chance after chance but wrapped the tie up with 10 min­utes left on the clock when Stevens headed pow­er­fully home from a cor­ner. The ball was kicked out of the goal by a de­fender, but the ref­eree’s as­sis­tant had no hes­i­ta­tion in flag­ging that the ball was well over the line.

De­spite al­most to­tal pos­ses­sion and nu­mer­ous late chances, Stones could not make the score line more em­phatic.

PHOTO: GEOFF SMITH

Con­nor Stevens’ header goes over the line for the sec­ond goal

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