Metropolitan Police 0 – 2 Wealdstone
0 - 2
Wealdstone’s injury and selection crisis didn’t in the end materialise for this tricky FA Trophy tie at Imber Court on Saturday.
Whilst Tom Hamblin was side lined with a dead leg from Monday evening’s drawn league battle with Whitehawk, there was good news with Wes Parker and Elliot Godfrey being declared fit to play and even midfielder Matty Harriott, out of the reckoning for a month, was able to make a welcome appearance as a substitute late in the match.
This was however a typically frustrating match for Stones with bags of possession and good build up play in parts but their end product in the final third continues to perplex. A hatful of chances went begging and a true reflection could have been 6-2. Thankfully mercurial keeper Jonathan North came to the rescue at key moments to obviate the goal scoring issues when the game should have been out of sight.
Nevertheless Wealdstone showed enough class to overcome a Police side that were also depleted through injury, include a significant late change when their influential skipper Steve Sutherland was withdrawn.
Stones were quickly on the front foot and when the lively Bradley Hudson-Odoi was fouled outside the box, Met keeper Craig King only just punched away Scott Davies’ difficult free kick.
And after 5 minutes Hudson-Odoi broke free again but with only King to beat he scuffed his strike at point blank range. Stones won three corners in succession as they piled on the pressure but again missed out on a great opportunity when the luckless Josh Hutchinson fluffed his lines in a one on one with King.
The home side weathered the storm by a combination of luck and poor finishing and had a decent chance on 17 minutes when North was positioned correctly to grab a header. Scott Davies then seized on a loose ball only to blast his strike from distance straight at King who was able to hold the ball.
Former Stone Nikki Ahamed was pulling most of the strings for the home side and his strike almost broke reward but his 20 yard effort was brilliantly turned away by North.
But nine minutes later Stones finally made the breakthrough their overall dominance merited. Hudson-Odoi turned sharply outside the area moving the ball onto his right book and sent an accurate strike past King for 1-0.
Davies then almost built on the lead with a powerful strike but King was equal to it pushing the ball around the upright.
The game was virtually killed off two minutes into the second half. Johnny Wright who had had a relatively quiet game moved the ball brilliantly around a defender but it looked like his strike would be blocked by King but the former Workington striker poked the ball between the keeper’s legs and into the net.
The tie then became scrappy as Stones toiled to turn possession into real chances and despite using all substitutes were unable to build on their lead. There was time for one more superb save from North from a Joe Turner strike that prevented the possibility of a nervous finish.
Stones are back in league action on Monday evening when they entertain Gosport Borough at the Freebets.co.uk Stadium.
Wealdstone: North, Duffy, Binns, Parker, McCleod-Urquhart, Godfrey, Wright, Ball, Hutchinson, Davies, Hudson-Odoi. Subs used: Lucien, Harriott, Louis. Not used: Corcoran, Lowe.
Alan Palmer Pics HERE