Wealdstone 3 – 3 Staines Town AET (Staines win 3-2 on Penalties)
2-3(P) (AET:3 - 3)
Wealdstone exited this seasons Middlesex County Cup on penalties after an entertaining game against Conference South side Staines Town. With the scores deadlocked at 3-3 after 120 minutes, it was Staines who held their nerve from the penalty spot to win 3-2.
With manager Gordon Bartlett opting to field a full strength side, winger Danny Spendlove nearly handed Stones the perfect start when 5 minutes in his curling 20 yard effort was tipped over by Louis Wells in the Staines goal.
Jerome Federico then had a 20 yard effort of his own ten minutes later, however unfortunately for him it flew just the wrong side of the post.
The visitors then began to push forward, and nearly opened the scoring through Andre Scarlett whose powerful 20 yard free kick crashed off the underside of the crossbar and away to safety
Staines did get the opener 5 minutes later though, when a long ball forward caught out Stones ‘keeper Jonathan North who slipped on the edge of the box leaving the onrushing Marc Charles-Smith with the simplest of tap ins.
It was an uncharacteristic slip from North, but there was nothing he could do 6 minutes later though when Staines doubled their advantage. Warren Harris swung in a corner to the edge of the six yard box which was met by a thumping header from Danny Gordon which gave North no chance.
Despite being two goals down Stones didn’t let their heads drop and they reduced the arrears just before half time. The pacey Federico got to the byline and pulled the ball back to Peter Dean who slotted home from close range despite the best efforts of the defending Gordon.
Wealdstone started the second half the brighter of the two sides, with Federico causing problems again down the right hand side, using his pace to get past Rene Steere and then flashing the ball across the face of goal, before Dean’s low crpss just eluded the onrushing Jolly.
The home side were then awarded a penalty when Spendlove went on a surging run before being chopped down just inside the box by Andre Scarlett. After a long debate, Scarlett was given his marching orders, more for his reaction to the decision than the challenge itself. Peter Dean stepped up to calmly slot home the resultant spot kick.
Stones weren’t level for too long though, and Staines took the lead again on 62 minutes when Warren Harris’s free kick into the box was met by the unmarked Charles-Smith, who flicked his header past North.
It was now end to end stuff and Wealdstone should have been level again two minutes later, when Federico squared to Spendlove in the box who fired over when perhaps he should have hit the target.
Stones then made their first change of the night on 72 minutes, with Kieron Knight replacing Peter Dean, and the substitute nearly made an instant impact, just failing to connect with another cross from the lively Federico.
There was then a lengthy stoppage on 85 minutes as the referee pulled up injured and had to be replaced by his assistant.
Jolly then had a great chance to level the game with two minutes to go, when Knights ball found the striker in the box, however Wells was quick off his line to deny him.
Stones did get the equaliser they deserved a minute later though, when Knights was fouled on the edge of the box, and Kurtney Brooks stepped up to curl the result free kick into the bottom corner for his first goal for the club.
Despite dominating the lengthy period of stoppage time, Stones couldn’t find a winner which ensured the game went into extra time.
Stones began extra time the way they had ended normal time, with Dyer and Brooks both going close during the first period.
The second period was a more open affair as both sides became tired, with Knight having the best of the chances for Stones, seeing his shot from the edge of the box saved by Wells, and then heading wide after a cross from substitute Denzil Conteh. With neither side able to find the winner the game went to penalties.
Jolly and Cronin both scored for Stones, however misses from Dyer, Conteh and Hammond proved costly, and despite North making two splendid saves, Staines scored their other three penalties to win it 3-2.
Next up for Stones is a home encounter with Canvey Island this Saturday 3pm kick off, where they will be looking record a fifth straight league win.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell(c), Massey, Cronin, Dyer, Federico (Conteh 105), Brooks, Dean (Knight 72), Jolly, Spendlove. Subs not used: Barden, Morgan, Thomas