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  • Tim Parks

REPORT | AFC Fylde 1-2 Wealdstone

A delighted David Noble saw his Stones side continue to impress on the road despite falling short of 'our glorious best'.

The Wealdstone boss saw his side under the cosh for long periods of the first half - and when the lancashire side levelled Dillon De Silva’s surprise early goal just after the break few among the 1,263 crowd would have expected the Londoners to see out the storm.

But this Wealdstone side have discovered resilience and pure grit. They stood firm and once Manny Duku had calmly restored the lead from a breakaway on the hour it was the visitors who could have finished with a two or three-goal cushion.

The three points hoisted Stones four places up to 16th in the National League table… and still with four or five games in hand on their rivals. 

Having travelled up on Friday on a rare overnighter, they looked controlled and composed in the early minutes - and took the lead thanks to a slick right-wing move.

Kyle Smith, making his second debut on loan from Millwall, combined cleverly with the fit-and-firing Max Kretzschmar on the right and when former Torquay winger De Silva latched onto the ball 20 yards out he switched the ball onto his left foot and fired unerringly past Fylde keeper Theo Richardson’s right hand.

On a bitterly cold afternoon a snap shot from the gangly but dangerous Danny Ormerod then stung the hands of Stones keeper Marcus Dewhurst - and then Dan Adshead’s vicious effort was beaten away again by the gloveman.

As Fylde flooded forward it was only an excellent, spreadeagled save from Dewhurst that kept the Stones ahead with 17 minutes played.

The gangly but dangerous Ormerod then just failed to wrap his foot around a right wing knockdown and fizzed his effort over the crossbar from just 6 yards out as charlie Barker desperately tried to intercept.

In truth, it was a poor quality first half illustrated by the number of overhit crosses that evaded the hapless Josh Kay, while Kretzschmar’s sweet cross just evaded the sliding Allarakhia in front of goal.

Alex Dyer was booked for tripping Ormerod as he broke away - and misfiring Stones also survived a dangerous cross shot from the dangerous Nick Haughton which bent narrowly wide of Dewhurst far post.

An equaliser was in the air but when it arrived, on 58 minutes it was a strange one: Connor Barrett slalomed past three challengers to travel 30 yards into the box and his half hit shot was deflected by Haughton past the helpless Dewhurst and just inside the post as Smith tried desperately to clear.

Moments later, Josh Kay struck a left footer inches wide of Dewhurst’s right hand post as 1-1 so nearly became 2-1.

But on 62 minutes it all changed with the accolades handed to the Stones management team…. The tiring De Silva and Smith were replaced by Jack Cook off and Brandon Mason as the visitors switched to four at the back.

Suddenly Stones were in the ascendancy.There was a moment’s danger as a great run from midfield from the talented Haughton was denied only by the outstretched leg of Dewhurst.

But only a minute later came the goal that settled the game, Tarryn Allarakhia slipping the ball to Kretzschmar and on to Sam Bowen. His pass found the hardworking Manny Duku and a placed right-footer to the top corner gave Richardson no chance from the edge of the box… to send the 121 Stones fans behind the goal into paroxysms of delight.

It was now all Wealdstone. A first time effort Alex Dyer hit the bar; Allarakhia somehow miscued his shot from Mason’s cross with just the keeper to beat; then the winger set up Kretzschmar on the edge of the box for a shot that flew narrowly over.

A rare Fylde attack saw Dewhurst deal with a wicked effort from substitute Ash Hunter, but the play soon switched to the other end with Stones sub Sean Adarkwa - on for Duku - denied in a one on one with home keeper Richardson.

And then Allarakhia set up Mason with a delightful cut-back only for Richardson to again save the day.

WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Smith (Cook 62), Barrett, Barker, Mundle-Smith, Dyer (c), Bowen, Kretzschmar, De Silva (Mason 62), Allarakhia, Duku (Adarkwa 79).

Subs not used: Ferguson, Young.

Attendance: 1,223 (including 121 Wealdstone supporters)

Report by Tim Parks


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