REPORT | Barnet 1-1 Wealdstone
Wealdstone come away with a point on derby day thanks to a dramatic late equaliser from substitute Corie Andrews.
The home side went ahead early on when Callum Stead’s effort deflected off Barker and into the back of the Stones goal.
Harry Pritchard had the chance to put his side two up from the spot, but Marcus Dewhurst stayed put down the middle of the goal to parry the ball to safety.
In the dying embers of the game, the Stones gave one last throw of the dice, and Andrews found the Stones a leveller when he capitalised on a mistake from Josh Keeley to send the away end into raptures.
David Noble made two changes to the side that drew with Aldershot Town in midweek, with Charlie Seaman coming in to make his first start since signing for the Stones, and Tarryn Allarakhia making his first appearance in the starting XI since returning from AFCON 2024.
As expected, it was a fierce start to the occasion, and it was the home saved that fashioned the first big chance of the game, just four minutes in, when a looping ball from former Stones captain Jerome Okimo found Reece Hall-Johnson at the back-post, but a vital save from Dewhurst with his legs denied them the opener.
The first chance for the Stones came in the 11th minute, a driving run from Tarryn Allarakhia saw the ball end up at the feet of Sean Adarkwa, who hit a first-time effort towards goal that was well held by Josh Keeley.
Barnet continued to pressure the Stones goal early on, and it was Jordan Maguire-Drew who was next to test the Stones reserve when his header looped goal-bound, but landed just over the Stones upright.
But a dominant spell of pressure from the hosts saw them take the lead just minutes later. Stead’s point-blank effort deflected off Charlie Barker and towards Dewhurst, but even after his strong start to the game, he was unable to keep the ball from crossing the line.
The away side looked certain to double their advantage, 34 minutes in, when Maguire-Drew caught Dewhurst off his line and looped a curling effort towards goal, but just as it was about to cross the line, a heroic diving header from Stones captain Jack Cook stopped Dean Brennan’s side from potentially running away with it before half-time.
The Stones would have been happy to go in at the break just one goal behind, with the chance to regroup and go again after a half-time team talk.
In terms of goalmouth action, there was relatively little to speak about in the second-half, with the Stones first effort coming in the 74th minute when Charlie Seaman opted to strike from range, but only found the hands of Keeley in the Barnet goal.
Overall, the Stones looked a much more fluid side in the period, finding the right space to try and get the ball into the box, but the final ball never really found a Stones shirt.
But Barnet are always a dangerous side on the break, and they gave themselves a chance to double their advantage in the 80th minute when the referee blew for a penalty after a flick-on from Barnet
Harry Pritchard stepped up to try and put the home side into a relatively unassailable lead, but when a rifled his effort down the middle of the goal, Dewhurst stayed put to parry his effort to safety.
With nine minutes added on, the game was on a knife’s edge. Stead found himself through on goal in the first minute of added time, and when he looked to have beat Charlie Barker for skill, the Stones number three recovered well to block his goal-bound effort.
Hoping they could strike late on in the derby for the second game running, the Stones piled the pressure onto the Barnet goal. A looping ball found substitute Max Kretzschmar in acres of space in the box, his effort on the volley looked destined for the top corner but fizzed narrowly wide.
But the Stones weren’t done there…
With literally seconds remaining on the clock, it looked as though it was heading for defeat, but there was to be one last throw of the dice for the Stones. The ball came into the box, and as Keeley looked to misjudge the ball, Andrews was on hand to knock the ball in and the send the travelling fans in the away end into absolute ecstasy.
Noble’s side come away with the point and will face a home game on Tuesday night National League match at home to Maidenhead United, before another derby clash next Saturday at home to Hendon in the FA Trophy.
WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Cook (c), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Seaman, Ferguson, Bowen, Mason (Andrews 71), Allarakhia (Kretzschmar 80), Obiero, Adarkwa.
Subs not used: Woodman, Dyer, Bartolo.
Attendance: 2,861 (including 921 Wealdstone supporters)
Report by Will Beaman