Wealdstone 0 – 0 Lowestoft Town
0 - 0
Wealdstone produced a solid performance on Saturday to halt a run of three straight league defeats with a goalless draw at home to league leaders Lowestoft in front of their biggest crowd of the season so far. Wealdstone will feel genuinely hard done by though, as once again they fell foul of a contentious refereeing decision, with the officials frustratingly ruling out Richard Jolly’s seemingly legitimate first half strike for an alleged foul on goalkeeper Jake Jessop.
Following Tuesday night’s disappointing defeat to Cray Wanderers, there was a welcome return to the side for Captain Wes Parker who returns following a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. There were also recalls to the starting XI for Peter Dean and Scott McCubbin as manager Gordon Bartlett looked to halt his sides poor recent run.
The match sponsors for the game were the Wealdstone FC Youth set up, with young players from Wealdstone under 11’s forming a guard of honour as the teams entered the pitch. The game also marked an important milestone for Lee Chappell, as it was the player’s 300th appearance for the Stones, a feat which sees him currently stand 9th in the club’s all time appearance list.
Stones nearly made a dream start to the encounter with just one minute on the clock when after Danny Spendlove had been chopped down by Adrian Forbes, David Hicks fired the resultant free kick into the box where it was headed into the path of Alan Massey by Wes Parker. Unfortunately though, the big defender couldn’t make proper contact with the ball when well placed.
After a fairly evenly contested opening 25 minutes, in which neither side really created any clear cut chances, a surging run from Danny Spendlove created a great chance for Richard Jolly after the winger had prodded the ball into his path, however Lowestoft ‘keeper Jake Jessop did well to block his close range effort.
Lowestoft then had a great chance themselves five minutes later when Sam Gaughran saw his powerful header from a Joe Francis header fly just over the bar.
Wealdstone began to press Lowestoft back as the half wore on, with Parker having an effort well saved by Jessop after he had seized on a mistake by the Lowestoft keeper, before he had to be alert again just moments later to palm away an effort from Hicks.
Stones then had an effort ruled out apparently for a foul on the ‘keeper, when after it appeared that Jessop had fumbled a low cross from Alex Dyer whilst under pressure from Jolly. In the scramble which ensued Jolly slammed the ball home however his celebrations were cut short by the referee who harshly deemed there had been an infringement.
Jolly was involved again on the stroke of half time, putting pressure on Adrian Forbes after a cross from Peter Dean which forced the former Norwich City winger to head the ball behind.
The second half began with Andrew Fisk having a decent 20 yard effort for the visitors which Jonathan North did well to save, before David Hicks drilled an effort over from just outside the box.
Wealdstone then began to enjoy plenty of possession, however they were let down by their final ball with their only effort on goal coming from distance.
Lowestoft nearly took the lead in the 71st minute, with Andrew Fisk jinking into the box before getting an effort away which was
well blocked by a combination of North and Parker.
The Trawler Boys came even closer three minute later when a good passing move saw Joe Francis bearing down on goal, however his effort flew just the wrong side of the post.
Peter Dean then had a glorious chance to hand his side the lead on 78 minutes; however the striker inexplicably missed his kick with the goal gaping, after a neat cross from Spendlove.
The final ten minutes were a fairly tense affair, with both sides pushing forward in search of an elusive winner, with Jolly again coming close with a glancing header from Scott McCubbin’s cross before Matt Nolan saw his powerful effort bravely blocked by Wes Parker.
Neither side was able to snatch a late winner, and they both had to settle for a point in what had been an evenly contested and entertaining affair.
Next up for Wealdstone is a home clash with Hastings United next Saturday, 3pm kick off.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell, Parker (c), Massey, Dyer, McCubbin, Hicks, Dean, Jolly, Spendlove. Subs not used: Cronin, Brooks, O’Leary, Miller, Adjei.
Man of the Match: James Hammond
By Stuart Warren