Wealdstone 2 – 4 Ebbsfleet United
2 - 4
Whilst this was a highly entertaining contest with quality football consistently on display, Wealdstone came away feeling that they had shot themselves in the foot at a pivotal point in the match, when, having pulled themselves level, conceded the most calamitous of own goals to hand the initiative back to their lofty opponents.
Stones had levelled back at 2-2 but within a minute of their equaliser in the 48th minute, David Hunt put past his own net when under no pressure.
Despite this horrendous set back, Wealdstone played some lovely passing football and dominated the second half but were vulnerable to a highly capable and powerfully full-time Ebbsfleet side that always looked menacing when on the attack.
Fleet almost netted early doors but Jack Powell shot wide from Danny Kedwell’s knock down, but Stones soon made their intentions clear with some positive forward play instigated by Danny Green and Ricky Wellard.
Jon North then saved expertly from big defender Dave Winfield but he could do nothing when the same player flashed a strike past him from a quick throw in on 14 minutes.
North came to rescue again after Dean Rance’s effort hit the wood work and Fleet were in the ascendency for a period but the home side kept their play to a high intensity and this paid off 4 minutes before the break. Eddie Oshodi burst through into the box and his strike hit the post and then off a defender for a deserved equaliser.
Wealdstone were caught cold immediately after the turnaround and from a quick break up field Kedwell finished clinically from a header from a sharp cross to the far post.
But Stones piled back onto the attack and levelled matters up within two minutes. Ryheem Sheckleford wriggled free down the left and put in a cross that Johnny Wright was eventually on hand to poke past Nathan Ashmore.
Then came Hunt’s blunder and Fleet were off the hook. A moment of controversy came in the 60th minute when Anthony Cook kicked out at Wright off the ball but was only shown a yellow.
Stones, to their credit continued to press the ball putting Ebbsfleet under pressure but they couldn’t find a second equaliser their play merited despite a very strong penalty shout for a blatant push on sub Koroma almost at the death.
Ebbsfleet put an artificial gloss on the score line in added time when they broke away and sub Sam Deering smashed a free ball past North.
Wealdstone: North 8, Sheckleford 8, Goulding 7, Hunt 5, Oshodi 7, Godfrey (Mavila 72, 6) 6, Green 7, Cox 7, Benyon 6, Wellard 7, Wright (Koroma 80, 6) 7 Subs not used: Parker, Hamblin, McGleish