MATCH REPORT | Wrexham 3-1 Wealdstone
Wealdstone are defeated 3-1 by high-flying Wrexham in a hard-fought battle at the Racecourse Ground.
The home side opened the scoring through Paul Mullin before being pegged back by a fantastic solo effort from Tarryn Allarakhia. Just minutes after the equaliser, former Stones winger Jacob Mendy fired a precise effort into the corner to give the home side the lead.
A refereeing performance that somewhat overshadowed the result saw Wealdstone midfielder Max Kretzschmar sent for an early bath after a confusing confrontation between the player and the referee led to a second yellow card. With the man advantage the home side doubled their advantage on the break through Sam Dalby.
The Stones began the game the brighter of the two, creating the first real opportunity of the match just five minutes in. In classic Allarakhia fashion, he picked up the ball on the half-way line, drove towards the Wrexham goal and fired his effort agonisingly wide of the post.
Looking to find the first goal of the game and finding good pockets of space in and around the Wrexham penalty area, the Stones saw two long-range efforts from both Allarakhia and Kretzschmar go close to breaking the deadlock.
Finding a lot of their success in set pieces, Wrexham looked to utilise this in the 12th minute of the game when havoc in the box from a corner saw a chance fall to Ollie Palmer that was well blocked by Miguel Freckleton.
Playing in a hostile atmosphere at the Racecourse Ground, Stuart Maynards continued to play the possession-based football that has brought them many a success this season and held their own up until the 40th minute when the hosts took the lead through top-scorer Mullin, who headed the ball towards the Stones goal after a pinpoint, in-swinging cross from Elliott Lee broke the line to give Mullin a free-head at goal.
A flurry of Wrexham half-chances followed the goal, the most notable chance falling to Elliott Lee, who struck a fierce effort towards the Stones goal on the volley that whistled wide of the post.
An action-packed second half was sparked just five minutes into the second period when Allarakhia levelled the score. Beating the offside trap, the tricky winger used fancy feet to take the ball round Mark Howard and smash the ball past a number of bodies on the line to send the 225 travelling Stones fans wild.
Just three minutes later, the home side responded in strong fashion when former Stones winger, Mendy picked up the ball on the edge of the box and hit a finely struck effort into the bottom corner.
The match failed to pick up any sort of pace until the 70th after the hosts second goal with the referee picking up a vast number of fouls to keep the game at a slow pace. The 72ndminute of the game saw the Stones next chance of the game when the ball was layed off to substitute Tarrelle Whittaker on the edge of the box, who could only find the keeper’s arms with his curling effort.
Putting the home side under pressure whilst looking for the equaliser, the Stones went close to bringing the score level once more when the lively Allarakhia found space in the box and fizzed an effort across goal that went agonisingly wide of a Wealdstone head.
The 79th minute saw Kretzschmar earn his second yellow card of the game and what was the eight yellow card given across the match at that point, an amount that totalled up to 11 bookings at full-time.
With the visitors down to 10 men, the hosts smelt blood and utilised their man advantage when Mullin was sent through on goal, on the counter attack where his effort was parried by Sam Howes, who had relatively little to do throughout the game, into the path of Dalby who finished from close range.
The home side would then go on to see out the game in experienced fashion to earn the three points. The Stones face a visit at home from York City on Saturday at 3pm in their next league fixture.
WEALDSTONE: Howes, Cook (c), Barker (Ferguson 79), Freckleton, Ilunga, Dyer, Charles, Kretzschmar, Obiero (Whittaker 67), Allarakhia, Andrews.
Subs not used: Barrett, Olomola, Hutchinson.
Attendance: 10,091 (including 255 Wealdstone supporters)
Report by Will Beaman