Wealdstone 2 – 3 Weston-super-Mare
2 - 3
Wealdstone lost out in a hugely disappointing manner in a frantic end to this entertaining clash played out in difficult blustery conditions at the Freebets.co.uk Stadium on Saturday.
Stones produced an exhilarating equaliser to pull the game back to 2-2 after they had been reduced to 10 men when influential skipper Tom Hamblin was sent off for a second yellow but then snatched defeat from the jaws of a dramatic late draw. Weston- super -Mare created the sucker punch with barely a minute left on the clock to take all the points and a big boost for them ahead of the FA Trophy re-match next Saturday in North Somerset.
Wealdstone were without the injured Wes Parker but welcomed back Matt Harriott for his first full start in five weeks since his signing from rivals Hemel Hempstead Town.
The young Seagulls side immediately impressed with some neat and progressive possession but it was Stones that snatched the lead and it had much to do with the windy conditions. From a free kick high into the box the ball carried and bounced nicely for an alert Johnny Wright to gleefully nod home on 5 minutes.
Weston skipper Dayle Grubb was causing problems through the middle with his direct running and almost broke through on several occasions. Stones counter attacking set up can leave holes in the middle inviting possession and pressure; the Seagulls style looked to take advantage with their often superior movement on and off the ball.
Jefferson Louis was guilty of some weak strikes from decent positions but was also unlucky to see Seagulls keeper Luke Purnell in excellent form producing two fine diving saves in the first period.
The effervescent away side came out with all guns blazing after the turnaround and caught Stones napping. Joe McClennan found time and space to equalise a minute in, and then Stones problems were compounded when the in-form and watched Bradley Ash rifled home after Dale Binns had lost out in the midfield.
Stones were struggling, but when they eventually pushed up in numbers they thought they had nicked an unlikely point. The lively Bradley Hudson-Odoi crossed beautifully for Louis to power home from a superb leaping header to make it 2-2 with only 5 minutes remaining.
But with the hugely influential Hamblin now off the pitch a final Seagulls corner went completely unmarked at the far post and Jake Mawford netted a miserable, gut wrenching, winner at the death.
Wealdstone Manager Gordon Bartlett was an unhappy man after the match and said: ‘I was impressed with the opposition with their passing, movement and energy levels – it’s not surprising they have scored many goals recently and are on a decent run. Having said that, we had more chances and we should have put them away particularly in the first half. I am bitterly disappointed that we have given all the points away in that manner’
Wealdstone : North, Duffy, Binns, McCleod-Urquhart, Hamblin, Godfrey (Lucien 78), Wright (Ball 45), Harriott (Hutchinson 73), Louis, Davies, Hudson-Odoi Subs not used: Corcoran, Lowe.
Alan Palmer pics HERE