MATCH REPORT | Torquay United 1-1 Wealdstone
Wealdstone were denied a heroic win away at National League leaders Torquay United by Billy Waters stoppage time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Plainmoor. Jacob Mendy's first half strike gave the Stones their goal.
Stones boss Stuart Maynard handed a debut to Arsenal loanee Joseph Olowu at right back with Ashley Charles also returning to the starting line-up since his return from his loan spell at Concord Rangers. Dan Wishart and Jack Cawley also returned to the starting eleven.
Torquay made nine changes to their side but started with an electric pace to the game, Ben Whitfield smashed an effort into the side netting on three minutes.
The blustery conditions on the English Riviera favoured the Stones in the first half, with Alex Dyer almost catching out Gulls keeper Shaun MacDonald direct from a corner.
Despite being called rank outsiders through the week it was the Stones who were the dominant force in the first half. Mendy's 30-yard free kick got caught in the wind and caught out a scampering MacDonald only to bounce off the crossbar and go over.
Playing in a more attacking role this evening, Mendy did grab a goal. Dennon Lewis held the ball up just inside his own half before playing in Mendy down the right, he cut inside past Kyle Cameron and smashed a low effort past MacDonald to give the Stones the lead on 36 minutes.
However a change of ends at half time meant conditions favoured the home side in the second half and went close on 56 minutes when Whitfield curled an effort just wide from 25 yards.
Minutes later Whitfield's corner was missed by the commanding Connor Smith for the Stones and Waters nipped in behind him to nod at goal from close range, only for Harry Isted to palm away with a good reaction save.
Josh Umerah was next to test Isted on 75 minutes, again producing a good point-blank save to deny the Torquay forward.
Just three minutes after that Umerah did beat Isted, rising highest from a Whitfield corner, but Charles was there on the far post to produce a heroic header off of the goal line.
The league leaders were now increasing their pressure and they hit the woodwork on 82 minutes when Adam Randell smashed a low effort through a crowd of bodies, coming off the post before Jerome Okimo cleared.
Mendy did test MacDonald a couple of times late on as Wealdstone looked to capitalise on the break following the introduction of Moses Emmanuel.
But the hosts pressure paid off in the first minute of stoppage time when Asa Hall's strike was found by a wall of Stones defenders, only to fall to Waters lurking inside the area who poked a low effort past Isted.
WEALDSTONE: Isted, Olowu, Langston, Cawley, Okimo (c), Smith, Charles, Dyer, Mendy, Wishart (Lench 72), Lewis (Emmanuel 86). Subs not used: Phillips, Parish, Dalling.
TORQUAY UNITED: MacDonald, Lewis, Sherring, Cameron, Sheaf (Koszela 33), Andrews (Street 77), Randell, Hall (c), Whitfield, Umerah, Waters. Subs not used: Hamon, Slough, Price.
Report by Chris Woods