Wealdstone 2-3 Canvey Island
2 - 3
In life as in football there is no such thing as ‘fair’. Wealdstone again realised that hard work, effort and moral victories are no substitute for the real thing. And the real thing for the Stones at present is turning possession and effort into goals and of course the ability to defend a lead by retaining composure. Wealdstone lost this match to a hugely undeserving Canvey Island side in the 93rd minute when a moment of defensive invisibility undone the previous 92 minutes of hard work and endeavour. Stones more than matched their visitors in almost everything department except their likely wage bill but were left at the final whistle with the sickening whoops of victory ringing in their ears by an opposition that barely deserved a point, let alone all three.
With an unchanged line -up Stones looked bright and aggressive and continued where they left off on Saturday. Things quickly got even brighter when man of the match Lee Chappell, who ran through brick walls for his team all night, beat his man and crossed superbly for Gavin James to bury the ball after only 9 minutes. Stones looked good value for their lead and chased and harried the visitors all over the park with Chris O’Leary once again giving the side a more balanced look. Kieron Forbes and Ryan Ashe also both contributed to a snappy midfield. Stones should have doubled their lead twice before the demons struck again. Canvey, against the run of play, seized on a mistake by Alan Massey who somehow allowed the ball to get in front of him, was dispossessed and Jay Curran equalised, scarcely believing his luck.
But Stones soon shook off this set back and continued to look the more likely to score again, playing down the slope. Gavin James pace and positional sense is a real asset to the Stones and it will be a blow should he return to the Magpies as scheduled. He was a thorn in the side of the Seagulls all evening and he took Stones into the lead once more when he burst into the box and got brought down by the hapless but experienced Mel Capleton on 31 minutes. James duly despatched the penalty with aplomb – Capleton was merely booked. Could Stones now push on and consolidate? Answer: no. Canvey for once piled on some pressure and forced a series of corners in the final few minutes of the half. Luke Woods looked to have punched out a corner weakly and Curren was well placed to smash a hard shot goalwards that deflected off a Stones defender. 2-2. Time: 45 minutes.
To the second period and Stones pushed hard for the winner playing up the slope in greasy conditions making for some interesting play. A blow for Stones after 5 minutes when O’Leary had to helped off after a nasty looking injury and was subbed by Ben Clarke. Once again Stones should have pressed home their possession and positive play but hesitancy and lack of composure in front of goal let them down time and again. Canvey hung on; things looked even more promising when Capleton went off injured as Ricky Wiseman looked less than competent as the match wore on.
The succour punch though seemed sadly inevitable but even by Wealdstone standards this was ludicrous. 93 minutes on the clock and Massey gives away an unnecessary free kick in a central position some 25 yards out. David Lee struck the ball and for some totally inexplicable reason Woods and the entire defence are nowhere to be seen. End off.
Wealdstone: Woods, Martin, Chappell, Gray, Massey, Ashe, Forbes, O’Leary, Alexander, James, Montgomery. Subs used: Clarke, Hughes. N/u: McCoy, Salapatas, Boyce.