Tooting & Mitcham 2-3 Wealdstone

TootingTooting & Mitcham United
Ryman League Premier Division

2 - 3

WealdstoneWealdstone
KO: 15:00 | Sat 31st Jan ’09

In a quite remarkable turn around in fortunes in this match at Tooting’s impressive Imperial Fields ground on Saturday, Wealdstone’s storming second half performance deservedly resulted in a dramatic injury time winner by winger Danny Spendlove. This victory was made all the more impressive with the unavailability of several key players and now moves an in form Stones up to 7th position in the Ryman Premier league table, hovering just outside the play off zone.

Skipper Jimmy Gray was suspended and stalwart defenders Carl Martin and Darren Locke were both unavailable due to injury. In came youngster Garry Jones at left back following some very solid performances in the reserves and wing back Lee Chappell was drafted in at centre back along side Alan Massey. Two new squad signings were on the bench: Ian Hilaire from Hitchin and ex Peterborough FC and former youth player Rodney Hicks.

Stones started brightly and had a good shout for a penalty turned down in the few couple of minutes with the assistant referee adjudging a ball to hand situation. Then Greg Ngoyi was off target when reasonably well placed, but shot wide under pressure.

But the Terrors looked confident and dangerous in attack following their recent and unexpected win over Carshalton Athletic last week. Michael Antonio on loan back from Championship side Reading, and the lively Paul Vines were proving to be a handful for Stones make shift back line; Stones woodwork keeping them out on two occasions as the half progressed

Wealdstone were stunned on 18 minutes when Terrors striker Paul Vines netted with a wonder strike from distance giving Sean Thomas no chance.

Stones plugged away and resisted the home side’s pressure as their midfield of Ryan Ashe, Kieron Forbes and Chris O’Leary battled on.

Two minutes before half time Kieron Forbes went a trade mark raking burst, breaking through the Terrors back line and finally made a run count as he gleefully scored with a crisp finish for his first Stones goal – and not before time. But the yellow and blue celebrations were soon cut short as United hit back right on time as Stones failed to defend a corner with conviction and Michael Antonio got ahead of Thomas to regain the lead.

Half time: 1-2

The goal seemed to rejuvenate Wealdstone and the second half was an entirely different story as an eager away side dominated and had far more attacking ideas.

Stones central midfield trio were now bossing play very effectively with high energy play and were consistently pushing back an increasingly concerned home side whilst finding a willing outlet in a very lively and skilful Danny Spendlove. 20 minutes into the half and Ryan Ashe set himself for a free kick some 20 yards from the Terrors goal. Tall keeper Steve King was left statuesque as a beautifully flighted ball found the net to queue celebrations for the equaliser.
The Terrors McLeod then went off injured and their reshuffled midfield seemed to make them even less effective in containing Stones pressing game. Lee Chappell took a nasty knock to his ankle but battled on.

It was an exuberant Wealdstone that looked far more likely to take all three points and the winner finally came two minutes into injury time. Stones broke and a ball over an exposed home back line found Danny Spendlove with just the keeper to beat and he did just that to slip the ball into the back of the net, sending players, management and supporters into raptures.

Wealdstone: Thomas, McCoy, Jones, Chappell, Massey, Ashe, Forbes, O’Leary, Haule, Ngoyi, Spendlove. Subs: Stevens, Clarke, Hilaire (Haule 75 ) Rodney Hicks

Crowd: 314