MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 1-1 Torquay United
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
Stuart Maynard’s men edged further towards National League safety as they notched an important point, sharing the spoils with Gary Johnson’s side in a late kick off, which was played behind closed doors The Vale.
A second half goal from substitute Jadyn Mundle-Smith put the Stones ahead, but Ben Wynter’s late equaliser ensured the Gulls salvaged a point on the road in their push for the play-offs.
Torquay United dominated proceedings in the first half as they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession; implementing an effectivehigh-press on Wealdstone, which enabled them to dispossess in threatening areas.
The first major chance of the half came in the 17th minute whenGulls’ Connor Lemonheigh-Evans was threaded through on goal by Queens Park Rangers’ loanee Stephen Duke-McKenna, but Stones’ number one, George Wickens, was quick off of his line to thwart the danger.
Torquay United’s next chance came four minutes later when Chiori Johnson whipped the ball towards Danny Wright who was free at the far post, but the striker could only head his effort wide of the target.
Against the run of play, Wealdstone nearly took the lead in the 36th minute when Charlton Athletic loanee Aaron Henry swung a fierce free kick into the box that was diverted towards goal by a Gulls’ player; however Shaun MacDonald pulled off a phenomenal save for the visitors, clawing the ball off of the line to preserve the score line.
Returning from the half-time interval, the Stones began to grow into the match as they demonstrated a more direct approach to their attacks.
Wealdstone duly broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute as pin-point distribution from Wickens found the lively Rhys Browne, who surged forward and found substitute Mundle-Smith in the box, with the wingback clinically firing past MacDonald.
The Gulls were quick to respond, levelling nine minutes later as captain Armani Little’s whipped delivery from a free kick was poked home by Wynter at the near post.
Two minutes later, the home side had an opportunity to seize the initiative again as Henry played through Browne for a one-on-one with MacDonald, but the visitors’ goalkeeper produced another fine save to deny Stones’ striker.
With the match entering its final stages, Torquay United began to gain momentum and impetus as they searched for a late winner.
As the Gulls amped up the pressure, two minutes from the stroke of regulation time, they duly converted past Wickens, but referee David Richardson disallowed the goal, adjudging the ball to have gone off of the pitch during the build-up play.
Despite a late rally from the visitors in the four additional minutes, the Stones held firm to end their run of two successive defeats.
Wealdstone return to action next Saturday 5th March when they travel to the Silverlake Stadium to face Eastleigh.
WEALDSTONE: Wickens, Tavares, Cook (c), McAvoy, Sesay (Mundle-Smith 57), Charles, Henry (Dyer 85), Ferguson (Cooper 77), Clayden, Browne, Umerah.
Subs not used: Okimo, Jackson.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee