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  • Writer's pictureChris Woods

MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 0-0 Notts County

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Wealdstone secured a well-deserved draw at The Vale with an excellent performance against Notts County, who entered the contest having won their previous five league matches.

The match ended goalless as the Stones produced a vastly improved and battling display against an accomplished Magpies side to earn a vital point to boost their survival hopes.

Stuart Maynard made four changes to the side that were comfortably beaten by Woking on Saturday, with Matt Buse, Connor McAvoy, Medy Elito and Jaydn Mundle-Smith slotting into the starting line-up, while David Sesay was named on the bench after returning from the African Cup of Nations.

Notts County created the first chance of the match as Kyle Wootton’s shot from distance stung the palms of goalkeeper George Wickens, with Wealdstone’s number one also denying Callum Roberts’ rebounded strike.

The Stones responded positively, generating an opportunity of their own four minutes later as Charlie Cooper’s whipped ball was met by Josh Umerah, with the striker’s effort looping just over the crossbar.

Elito continued to bring some attacking flair to the Stones’ side, eleganty bringing down a long ball and teeing up the energetic Jamie Mascoll, whose shot was well-saved by Sam Slocombe, on the 20th minute mark.

Six minutes later, Wealdstone’s next chance was orchestrated by the inspired Matt Buse, who hit a floated effort on the turn which nearly caught out Slocombe, but the Notts County goalkeeper held firm.

The Stones, adopting a more compact formation, kept the Magpies’ scoring endeavours at bay, reducing Matty Palmer to a shot from 30 yards out, which he blazed over the bar.

Four minutes before the stoke of half time, the Stones were close to seizing the initiative when their slick build-up play ended with Umerah collecting the ball in the box, spinning and shooting just wide into the side netting.

Spurred on, Wealdstone continued to probe for an opener as Elito threaded the ball through to Umerah, who held off captain Kyle Cameron and shot on target, prompting Slocombe to produce a fine save to tip the ball wide.

Jerome Okimo was introduced in the 52nd minute to replace the injured Jack Cook, as the captain was reunited with central defensive partner Stevens - a duo which led the Stones to winning the National League South title in 2020.

The visitors returned from the interval with added impetus as they looked to establish a rhythm, with Roberts hitting a fantastic volley from the edge of the area, which was crucially blocked by defensive stalwart Connor Stevens, who produced another man of the match performance.

In the 63rd minute, Jayden Richardson broke free down the left wing, cutting inside to drill a shot goal-bound, but Wickens responded with a vital save to deny Notts County taking the lead.

The Magpies’ next effort was a brilliant 30 yard powerful strike from defender Richard Brindley which was heading towards the top corner, but Wickens pulled off another top-quality save.

Undeterred by the Magpies’ pressure, the Stones continued to play on the front foot, with Mascoll dragging a shot wide of the post in the 71st minute.

Six minutes from time, the visitors looked like they had stolen all three points at the death as the ball fell to Richardson to shoot into an empty net after a melee at the back post; however Stevens was on hand with a goal-line clearance to preserve the score line.

Five minutes into stoppage time, McAvoy, who had been stellar throughout, produced a heroic block to thwart striker Kyle Wootton.

Wealdstone held on to secure a crucial point as Okimo marshalled the defence expertly to nullify Notts County’s attacking exploits.

The Stones return to action on Saturday 29th January when they travel to Blundell Park to face Grimsby Town in a 7.45pm kick off.

WEALDSTONE: Wickens, McAvoy, Cook (c) (Okimo 52), Stevens, Mundle-Smith, Charles, Cooper, Buse, Elito (Sesay 74), Mascoll, Umerah.

Subs not used: Fasanmade, Dyer, Taylor.

Attendance: 1,547

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee


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