MATCH REPORT | Weymouth 1-1 Wealdstone
Weymouth and Wealdstone played out a 1-1 draw at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Saturday. A first half goal from Ben Thomson for the hosts was cancelled out by Connor McAvoy's goal on his Stones debut.
The Stones had to play out the final 10 minutes with 10 men after Charlie Cooper departed the pitch with an injury and Stones boss Stuart Maynard already using all three subs.
It was McAvoy who was the only change from Maynard's side that lost 2-1 in the FA Cup to Dagenham & Redbridge last week, with Andrew Eleftheriou moving to the bench and Nikola Tavares playing out on the right wing.
In a tight first half in which the Stones enjoyed a lot of possession, it was the hosts who were first to threaten. Ollie Harfield picked out Andy Robinson with a low cross that called keeper George Wickens into action, diverting an effort low to his right away from goal.
Tavares' new role saw the defender push forward a lot more and he almost opened the scoring after some intricate work in the box from Cooper to Tavares forcing a save from Terras keeper Ross Fitzsimons.
The Croatian defender went close again after a move that was started and almost finished by Jack Cook. The centre-back burst forward playing a ball out wide to Tavares, he put in a dangerous ball across the face of goal which the advancing Cook just missed.
Despite the visitors' pressure it was the hosts who took the lead. A low cross played to Josh McQuoid was saved once by Wickens and then blocked on the line by Cook before Thomson smashed the ball into the top corner from close range just before half time.
Milton Keynes Dons loanee Jay Bird started the second half positively and after stealing the ball from Cameron Murray on the edge of his own area, forced a smart save from Fitzsimons to tip wide.
Then on 64 minutes the Stones earned a deserved equaliser. Cooper whipped in a free kick to McAvoy who poked in at the front post right in front of the travelling faithful to instantly endear him to the Stones fans.
Wealdstone could smell blood, and Weymouth who had lost their last four league games, looked vulnerable. The introduction of Ira Jackson proved troublesome for the hosts, pulling a couple of saves from Fitzsimons.
Just as the Stones looked to be in the ascendancy and the only side going for three points with the introduction of another attacker in Craig Fasanmade, the game shifted with Cooper having to withdraw through injury on 82 minutes, leaving the Stones with ten men.
The tide of the game shifted but the hosts failed to craft a chance until the final minute of injury time when Bradley Ash put an effort straight into the hands of Wickens.
Any point on the road in this league is valuable and the Stones now look to take this form into Tuesday night when recently relegated league leaders Grimsby Town roll into The Vale boosted by a large away following in what should be a cracking atmosphere under the lights in Ruislip.
WEALDSTONE: Wickens, McAvoy, Cook, Okimo (c), Tavares, Charles, Dyer (Buse 72), Cooper, Lewis, Bird (Jackson 64), Umerah (Fasanmade 79).
Subs not used: Eleftheriou, Mundle-Smith.
Report by Chris Woods