Carshalton Athletic 0 – 0 Wealdstone
0 - 0
Wealdstone came away from The War Memorial Sports Ground with a point on Tuesday night after playing out an entertaining game with big spending Carshalton Athletic.
In what was an end to end contest, Stones will know they had the chances to snatch a victory, hitting the woodwork twice and also seeing captain Lee Chappell fire just over deep into injury time.
Following on from Saturday’s home draw with Margate, Gordon Bartlett opted to field the side which had finished the game so strongly which meant that there were first starts for new signings Jake Parsons and Tom O’Regan.
It took Stones just two minutes to register their first effort on target when David Hicks free kick into the box was met by a great leap from Alan Massey whose header was palmed away by Nick Hamann in the Carshalton goal.
Richard Jolly was playing against one of his former clubs, and he came close to notching his first goal of the season on 20 minutes when he headed just wide from Chappell’s left wing cross.
If Carshalton were going to take the lead in the first half, then it looked like their best chance would be through winger Dean Lodge whose pace was causing Wealdstone problems down both flanks, most notably on 26 minutes when he outpaced Chappell before squaring to Dean McDonald. McDonald managed to get a shot away however James Hammond did well to get across and block.
Lodge again used his pace to good effect ten minutes later, this time getting down the right and finding Billy Crook who luckily for Stones could only shoot straight at Jonathan North.
The game was now opening up before half time, and Hamann had to be alert to palm away an effort from Kurtney Brooks, before the Carshalton stopper again did well to deny Jolly, diving at the striker’s feet as he bore down on goal.
It was in the final minute of the half that Stones had their best chance though when Tom O’Regan cut inside from the right hand side and let fly with an effort from 25 yards which crashed off the cross bar.
After both sides had been limited to efforts from distance early on in the second half, it was on the hour mark that Wealdstone had a glorious chance to take the lead. Hicks found himself with time on the edge of the box and floated ball to the back post which wrong footed Hamann and was prodded goalwards by Jake Parson’s outstretched foot, however the midfielder could only turn the ball onto the frame of the goal from close range.
The home side then thought they had taken the lead themselves five minutes later. Anthony Joseph threaded the ball through to Lodge who side footed past North. With the ball going in, Hammond somehow managed to make up ground to brilliantly get back and clear the ball off the line with Carshalton’s fans already celebrating a goal.
With 15 minutes to go Stones made their first change, with Danny Spendlove coming on in place of Tom O’Regan.
Spendlove was in the thick of the action straight away, sliding in on goalkeeper Hamann and winning the ball before poking in back to Peter Dean who could only shoot well wide when perhaps he should have hit the target.
Both sides then had chances to win it in the final ten minutes as the game became more stretched. First of all Carshalton’s Billy Crook flashed the ball across the face of goal which the onrushing Lodge could not quite reach to turn home, before a quick break away resulted in Jolly curling a shot onto the post from the edge of the box following good work from Hicks and Spendlove.
The home side were awarded a succession of corners in the final few moments, and it was from one of these that Stones were able to counter and almost snatch all three points. After clearing the ball the tireless Peter Dean raced down the right unchallenged before sending the ball over to Jolly on the edge of the box. The striker took a touch before threading the ball through to Chappell who fired just over from inside the box when under pressure from the defender.
It had been an entertaining clash, and a valuable point for Stones as they look to keep up with the early pace setters. They face another tricky away trip on Saturday to East Thurrock before playing Wingate & Finchley at The Vale on Bank Holiday Monday, 3pm kick off.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell (c), Cronin, Massey, Brooks, Parsons, Hicks, Dean, Jolly, O’Regan (Spendlove 75).
Subs not used: Knight, Fitzgerald, Wallace, Parker.
By Stuart Warren