Wealdstone 2 – 2 St Albans City
2 - 2
In front of a crowd of 824, Wealdstone and St Albans City played out a highly entertaining, hard fought 2-2 draw at The Vale on Monday evening. The Stones came from behind twice after goals from Elliot Benyon and Ricky Wellard cancelled out Junior Morias and Louie Theophanous’ strikes.
However, it was ultimately a costly night for Stones that Gordon Bartlett described afterwards as ‘frustrating’ as hamstring injuries to David Hunt and Wes Parker will mean lengthy lay-offs.
Wealdstone started the strongest and struck the crossbar on two minutes, when the Cambridge loanee Dylan Williams capitalised on a poor clearance from Tom Bender.
Chances then fell to Benyon and Wellard inside ten minutes with Benyon’s effort blocked by Ryan Johnson and Wellard’s header going straight at James Russell in goal.
But it was the Saints who took the lead, taking advantage of calamitous defending from the home side. A soft headed back-pass by Josh McLeod-Urquhart to Jonathan North saw the keeper wait for the ball to roll into the box, but he dawdled too long and Dipo Akinyemi snatched the ball before squaring it across the empty goal to Morias who tapped the ball home with the simplest of chances.
The Stones response was instant and within two minutes after taking the lead, St Albans failed to clear a cross, Williams was first to the ball and despite contact he managed to innovate a pass to Benyon on his way forward and he smashed the ball low to Russell’s left to level the scores.
Midway through the half the hosts almost went ahead. Matty Whichelow skipped past former Stones player Lee Chappell and whipped in an excellent cross for Benyon who headed narrowly over.
Benyon had another effort just before half time coming from an Eddie Oshodi cross. He controlled the ball down and from an identical position to his goal, smashed the ball into the side-netting.
The visitors went back in front five minutes after the break when Louie Theophanous turned Parker and smashed a powerful effort past North.
North atoned for his first half error soon after when his quick reactions prevented Theophanous from scoring a similar effort.
Sixty-five minutes in the scores were level again. A long pass from sub Elliott Godfrey was brought down on the chest of Williams who then flicked the ball to Ricky Wellard before the attacking midfielder unleashed a powerful effort past Russell from the edge of the area.
There was drama in injury time when Saints had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee who booked Rhys Hoenes for diving. And right at the death Tom Cadmore should have stolen a victory but his powerful rising shot went over the bar.
WEALDSTONE: North, Oshodi, McLeod-Urquhart, Parker (c)(Hamblin 56), Cadmore, Hunt (Godfrey 36), Whichelow (Kabba 76), Green, Benyon, Wellard, Williams
Unused subs: Hutchinson, Brown Goals: Benyon (14), Wellard (65)
Booked: Green (21), Hunt (21)
ST ALBANS CITY: Russell, Herd, Bender, Chappell (c), Martin, Johnson, Lucien (Hoenes 71), Thomas, Theophanous, Morias, Akinyemi (Merson 82)
Unused subs: Ball, Rees, Hill
Goals: Morias (12), Theophanous (50)
Booked: Lucien (61), Bender (87), Hoenes (90)
Report by Chris Woods