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  • Nicole Cho-Yee

REPORT | Oldham Athletic 2-3 Wealdstone

Updated: Apr 21


Interim manager Sam Cox masterminded another sensational comeback to beat Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park and pull off a great escape, dramatically avoiding relegation on the last day of the season.


A goal from Jack Young, an own goal from Shaun Hobson and a winner from Mason Barrett cancelled out Mike Fondop’s brace, sealing the Stones’ third win in four games, while propelling them to a 16th place finish in the league table.


For this crucial final fixture, Cox made three changes to the side that were narrowly defeated by Eastleigh on Tuesday evening; skipper Jack Cook, Alex Dyer and Sam Bowen all returned to the starting line-up for the Stones.


The Latics registered the first effort on goal in the 5th minute of play through Devarn Green’s powerful long-distance shot that flew narrowly wide of the target.


Next, it was Wealdstone’s turn to test the goalkeeper as Tarryn Allarakhia’s strike from an acute angle was well-claimed by Mathew Hudson.


Three minutes later, the Stones had another sight of goal, but Bowen’s shot from the edge of the area was straight at Hudson.


Somewhat against the run of play, Oldham Athletic assumed the lead in the 17th minute as Green’s inviting cross was met by a towering header from the impressive Fondop, which sailed past Marcus Dewhurst into the top corner.


The Stones responded positively to falling behind, nearly equalising in the 25th minute when Dillon De Silva fired goal-bound, but Charlie Raglan produced a vital block to deny the Sri Lankan international.


Moments later, the lively Allarakhia was in the thick of the action again, shooting marginally wide from outside of the area.


Wealdstone continued to knock on the door of the Latics goal and Mason Barrett was nearly fruitful in the 32nd minute, firing a superb volley just over the crossbar.


With six minutes of the first-half remaining, the Stones were agonisingly close to levelling when Young struck a fierce volley from the edge of the box , but Hudson was equal to the his effort.


Galvanised by Cox’s team-talk at the interval, his side drew level within four minutes of the restart as the industrious Young surged into the box to meet Kallum Cesay’s teasing cross with a header, which looped over Hudson into the back of the net, marking his first goal for the club.


Bolstered by the goal, the Stones began to play with added impetus and were duly rewarded in the 55th minute, taking the lead when De Silva’s driven cross was diverted home by Hobson into his own net.


Wealdstone’s advantage was short-lived as the dangerous Fondop cut inside from the left wing, danced past two defenders and fired past Dewhurst into the roof of the net, sealing the striker’s brace and restoring parity.


Again, the Stones reacted positively to conceding and should have reassumed the lead in the 68th minute when De Silva crossed to Allarakhia, but the Tanzanian international’s shot was held by Hudson.


As the second-half progressed, Cox’s side continued to press for another goal, coming close through efforts from Sean Adarkwa and Barrett, which were thwarted by Hudson.


With 14 minutes left, the relentless Stones edged ahead again; Bowen’s pinpoint cross was headed home past Hudson in style by Barrett to notch his second goal of the season.


As the match entered the final ten minutes, Micky Mellon’s men pushed for another equaliser and hot-shot Fondop nearly delivered; curling just over the crossbar, then being denied by a smart save from Dewhurst.


In the 88th minute, the Latics came close to levelling again when substitute Andy Dallas flicked a header towards the far corner, but Dewhurst responded with an important stop.


A tense climax ensued as six minutes of stoppage time were added; however, a resolute Wealdstone, spearheaded by the inspirational Cox, held firm to secure all three points and guarantee National League status for next season.


WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Barrett, Cook (c), Barker, Cesay (Mason 86), Dyer (Ferguson 90), Young, Bowen (Kretzschmar 86), De Silva, Allarakhia, Adarkwa.


Subs not used: Duku, Obiero.


Attendance: 6,082 (including 210 Stones fans)


Report by Nicole Cho-Yee

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