Wealdstone 2 – 3 Uxbridge
2 - 3
In a week when Wealdstone’s dreams of a sell-on pay day from a Jermaine Beckford transfer finally seemed to have evaporated they could at least be comforted by the prospect of playing a game of football after a full three weeks of inactivity. Snow and the politics of football have both contrived to create misery but this long awaited Middlesex Senior Cup match was a very entertaining spectacle that would help forget such matters even if, from Stones perspective, the result wasn’t in the script. The final score line could easily have read 6-7 with at least 6 shots hitting the wood work from both sides.
Stones were without their suspended trio of Chris O’Leary, Alan Massey and Marvin McCoy, and at times, in an end to end and very open match, it showed. Defensively the home side were all over the place for long periods with Ken During having a match he will want to quickly forget although he suffered continual bad luck all night with rebounded balls. If we expected ring rustiness after such a long layoff we certainly got it with some good attacking play interspersed with wasted possession and some poor decision making.
Uxbridge looked up for the battle from the first whistle and should be commended for their work rate which never really dropped off and although former Stone Wayne Carter has seen better days in the physical sense he showed he can still pull the strings in the midfield and with some excellent play from the likes of Ryan O’Toole they were a handful for Stones in midfield and defence.
O’Toole for the Reds was just over from a cheap cross early on but then Sam Corcoran hit a rasping drive from distance that was well tipped over by Matt Burton.
A period of dominance by the Reds was rewarded with a spectacular dipping strike from defender Mark Smith on 19 minutes to give them the lead.
And the away could have doubled their advantage with greater composure on several occasions – including an amazing double striking of the woodwork in a 20 second burst that would have left Stones reeling.
Reds continually unsettled Stones with their trademark physical style and wouldn’t allow the home side to settle on the ball in the midfield.
But Stones plugged away and began to look more threatening with Danny Spendlove looking the pick of their forwards when he found space. And when he made space with a great shimmy the blond No 11 netted with a measured strike over Burton for an equaliser on 37 minutes which at last galvanised his teammates.
In an incident packed second period there were innumerable chances for both sides. Greg Ngoyi whose luck was again out had a great shout for a penalty turned down – one of a few eccentric decisions from referee Reuben Simon who did not really endear himself to the home crowd.
Carter went close and then Ryan Ashe almost slipped the ball past an exposed Burton. Corcoran rattled the crossbar and then Spendlove was put clear in a great move only to see his effort crash out from the upright. In between Sam Beagle made a great save from close range.
The Reds finally got their second and regained the lead with another good effort, this time from Tommy Howe.
Wealdstone threw on a couple of subs – Charlie Mpi and new signing Junior Osbourne and this gave the impetus back to the home side playing down the slope.
And it was Mpi that made an immediate impact laying a superb ball off for Spendlove to grab his second goal to get Stones back on terms for 2-2. Mpi was then astonishingly booked for a ‘dive’ in the area when contact was clearly made on the speedy forward.
Billy Gibson came on and did his best to create the chance for a winner for Stones but the Reds had the final say in this thrilling Cup tie with a last gasp winner from Ryan O’Toole.
Stones will have a few matters to think about before they resume league action at a lowly but improving Bognor Regis Town on Saturday….weather permitting of course.
Wealdstone: Beagle, During, Chappell, Fitzgerald, Locke, Ashe, E’Beyer, Corcoran, Lafayette, Ngoyi, Spendlove. Subs used: Mpi, Junior Osbourne, Gibson. N/u: Gray, Thomas (GK)