Maidenhead Utd 2 -0 Wealdstone
2 - 0
Wealdstone went down 2-0 to league leaders Maidenhead United on a wet and blustery New Year’s Day afternoon at York Road.
An unlucky own goal from Eddie Oshodi and a Sean Marks header proved to be the difference in an evenly contested match.
Gordon Bartlett named an unchanged squad from the side that beat the leaders on Boxing Day and had the ball in the net after 7 minutes, although Elliot Benyon’s tap-in was deemed offside after being played in by Ricky Wellard.
Keeper Jonathan North expertly kept out a Marks bullet-header from close range just two minutes later, with the striker putting another header just over the bar from the resulting corner.
Benyon then a great chance to put the Stones into the lead but opted to take a touch and hit the ball on the volley rather than go for the header and the volley just fizzed wide.
Dave Tarpey then had a big hand in Maidenhead’s 49th minute goal. Tarpey had a run at the defence and released a shot from the edge of the area taking two huge deflection with the last coming off the helpless Oshodi to wrong-foot North.
Tarpey then should have had his second goal of the game on 70 minutes. Rene Steer made a mazy run past Ryheem Sheckleford and played a low cross to the unmarked Tarpey in acres of space, but the league’s top scorer flashed a shot well wide.
But he made amends just a minute later when he skinned David Hunt who had filled in left-back for the injured Ciaron Brown, before crossing to Marks at the near post who thumped a header past North.
Wealdstone responded well to the second goal. Hunt played a ball over the top to Benyon, who brought the ball down but smashed the shot across the face of goal. On another day he would have finished the strike.
Substitute Nick Freeman had an effort parried by Carl Pentney near stoppage time and Hunt had a looped cross-shot tipped over by the keeper immediately after, but the Stones just couldn’t get the rub of the green and it proved to be one of those days in front of goal.
Wealdstone are at home to another top side next Saturday when they entertain big spending Ebbsfleet United.
WEALDSTONE: North, Sheckleford, Brown (Hamblin 23), Hunt, Oshodi, Godfrey (Wright 59), Green (Freeman 76), Benyon, Wellard, Whichelow Subs not used: Koroma, McGleish
By Chris Woods