Bromley 1 – 1 Wealdstone
1 - 1
Stones travelled to the Fortress Stadium on Sunday to take on 2nd placed Bromley in their latest Vanarama Conference South fixture. Having nabbed a draw in the closing minutes on Boxing Day at home to Sutton United the odds of getting something out of this game looked pretty long as the hosts are one of the fancied sides to be at the top of the pile come the end of season.
This was our first League fixture at Hayes Lane since Dec 05 when the sides last met which resulted in a 1-1 draw ( a certain Mr Beckford scored that day – whatever happened to him?), the home fixture this season saw Bromley romp to a 4-0 win at The Vale as Stones were adjusting to life in the Conference South.
On a glorious cold sunny day Stones made a number of changes in their starting eleven with Cronin replacing Hamblin in defence and starts for O’Nien & Ball in midfield at the expense of Turner and Lucien and Jolly up-front with McGleish. The opening exchanges were quite tentative, almost like a first date, as both sides probed and tested the resolve of each other, whilst the weather was pleasant the pitch was decidedly heavy and cut up quite easily in places, this being the 70th odd game to be played on it this season. With such a tight midfield Stones elected to mix up the play between the long ball game up to the forwards and short passing using both fullbacks who in-turn fed the ever willing Jolly & McGleish.
The hosts created more opportunities over the 90 minutes, but a combination of excellent defending, customary goalkeeping from the ever reliable Jonathan North meant honours finished even. The home side took the lead through Moses Ademola eleventh goal of the season to give Bromley the lead on 29 mins, before that man Richard Jolly buried a chance 4 minutes later much to the delight of the travelling faithful. Stones could have nicked a goal a few minutes earlier when the energetic O’Nien went on a run playing the ball to Matt Ball, who in-turn fed McGleish in the inside left channel, but his cut-back was just behind the onrushing Jolly.
Stones missed the chance to establish a lead shortly after the re-start when Martin advancing down the right played the ball forward to Jolly who intelligently laid the ball into the path of the onrushing Matt Ball who skied his volley high wide and handsome from the edge of the box. The game became quite open with sides looking to grab a winner, again and again the defence stood firm ably supported by the midfield quartet. Another good chance came Stones way when O’Nein made his way past the full-back before setting–up Jolly who was unlucky to see his shot go wide. The first Stones sub saw Wright replace Brown who had run his socks off just after the hour, with the game winding down manager Bartlett went then replaced Jolly with Lucien for the final five minutes (plus stoppage time) which immediately caused panic for the home team. Indeed with a little more luck Stones could have grabbed all three points at the death, first Lucien set-up Wright whose header floated over the bar and right on full time Lucien let rip with a thunderbolt shot which just went past the right stick.
An entertaining and hard fought point on the road, more of the same please for the remainder of the season chaps…..
So on to the New Year’s Day fixture AWAY at Sutton Utd Kick-off 3.00pm
Wealdstone: North, Martin, Watts, Parker, Cronin, Godfrey, Ball, Brown (Wright), McGleish, Jolly (Lucien), O’Nein. Subs: Turner, Louis, Hamblin
By a ‘special correspondent’ (Mr S.A.N.T.A Klaus)
Steve Foster Foster pics HERE