MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 1-0 Altrincham
Late drama at The Vale saw Wealdstone edge Altrincham in a highly eventful encounter to secure their first win of the season.
A stoppage time penalty from Medy Elito sent Stones’ fans into a frenzy as they grabbed all three points in a thrilling finale.
The opening exchanges were balanced between the Stones and Robins as both sides settled into the rhythm of the match.
Wealdstone nearly seized the initiative in the 10th minute when Jack Cawley whipped in a teasing cross for Stephan Browne, but the striker could only head his effort straight at Anthony Thompson in the Altrincham goal.
Ryan Colclough and Daniel Mooney then both tested George Wickens in quick succession, with the Wealdstone goalkeeper producing two solid saves to deny the visitors an early lead.
The pick of the Robins’ chances came in the 23rd minute when they caught out the Stones’ defence with a quick free kick, but Marcus Dinanga could only direct his shot into the side netting.
As the first half progressed, Wealdstone began to galvanise further goal scoring opportunities. A pinpoint free kick from Charlie Cooper found Jack Cook in the 36th minute; however Thompson was equal to the defender’s headed effort.
Four minutes shy of half time, the Stones looked to have broken the deadlock when Cook surged forward and laid the ball to Browne on the edge of the box, who beat his man and fired towards goal, but the Robins’ number one produced a fine save to deny the home side.
Altrincham return from the interval brightly as Dinanga skipped past Cook to go through on goal, but Wickens was quick off of his line to thwart the forward’s effort.
In the 57th minute, Connor Kirby suffered a serious leg injury which required significant medical assistance on the pitch and led to a significant break in play.
Shortly after play resumed, Mooney crafted a well-worked move down Altrincham's right flank and crossed to Colclough in the box, but he blazed his effort over the crossbar.
Despite late chances for both teams in regulation time, the match looked to be heading towards a goalless draw before the 4th official signalled that there would be 13 additional minutes.
Seven minutes into stoppage time, Dennon Lewis surged forward with a brilliant run, threading through substitute Craig Fasanmade, who drew a great save from Thompson. Lewis then fired the rebound towards goal, but Joseph Bunney produced a crucial block to deny the Stones.
Then in the 99th minute the visitors were reduced to 10-men. Stones broke from an Altrincham corner with some good work from debutant Jackson to play in Fasanmade, however he was scythed down by Altrincham's Bradley Jackson, giving the referee an easy decision to make.
However, four minutes later, Wealdstone duly snatched all three points at the death as Elito stepped up after being foul to coolly slot home from the penalty spot for his first goal for the Stones.
WEALDSTONE: Wickens, Cook, Cawley, Okimo (c), Eleftheriou, Charles, Dyer (Elito 90), Cooper, Lewis, Browne (Jackson 76), Umerah (Fasanmade 76).
Subs not used: Wishart, Tavares.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee