Report: Wealdstone 0-0 Wrexham AFC 0
Wealdstone put in a superb, resilient performance to frustrate high-flying Wrexham and secure an excellent goalless draw in front of record crowd of 2,817 at Grosvenor Vale.
The Stones were fine value for the point, their second in three games against their Hollywood-owned opponents and they become only the fourth side to keep a clean-sheet against the free-scoring Welsh side this season. The visitors, who arrived in West London, top of the table, have rammed in 50 goals this season by they could find no way past a new-look Stones defence that featured two teenagers, in Charlie Barker and Miguel Freckleton, making their full home debut.
The result built on the 1-0 win at Altrincham last time out and leaves the Stones in 14th ahead of the visit to York City next week.
Boosted by the return of Ashley Charles to the starting XI, Wealdstone started the match on the front-foot, dictating the rhythm of play with their intensity and incisive passing.
The hosts crafted the first chance of the game when Tarryn Allarakhia’s low, driven cross flashed across the face of the goal, but the forwards were unable to capitalise.
The Stones were nearly rewarded for their bright start in the 17th minute when Olufela Olomola was slipped through on goal; however the forward’s strike was thwarted by a last-ditch block from Wrexham’s defender.
Wealdstone came close again to finding an opener in the 28th minute when Giovanni McGregor’s deep corner found Jack Cook, but the captain’s looped header was denied by a vital goal-line clearance.
As the first-half progressed, the Red Dragons slowly grew into the game and began to display a more cohesive performance.
Six minutes shy of half-time, Wrexham nearly broke the deadlock when James Jones’ cross found talisman Ollie Palmer at the back-post, but Sam Howes produced a brilliant reflex save to ensure both teams went into the break on level terms.
Parkinson’s team talk spurred on his side as they returned from the interval with added impetus as they looked to galvanise a goal to continue their winning streak.
The visitors’ first sight of goal in the second-half came in the 62nd minute when Liam McAlinden cut inside from the right wing, but his left-footed effort was straight at Howes.
As the match progressed, the Red Dragons notched through the gears as they rallied for a goal.
Elliot Lee looked to have found that decisive moment in the 84th minute when his shot was goal-bound, but an inspired Howes produced a brilliant acrobatic save to deny the midfielder.
Two minutes later, Wrexham nearly grabbed a late winner when Tom O’Connor’s lofted ball into the box was heading towards the bottom corner, but Howes reacted with another smart save to preserve the score line.
Despite five additional minutes, the Stones defended heroically to grind out a draw and successfully nullify a frontline which boasts two of the top three goal scorers in the league.
Wealdstone: Howes, Cook, Barker, Freckleton, Kinsella, (Mundle-Smith 73), McGregor, Charles, Dyer, Allarakhia, Obiero, Olomola 7 (Kretzschmar 73).
Subs not used: Barrett, Ferguson, Akinola.
*Pictures by Darren Campbell