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  • Nicole Cho-Yee

REPORT | Wealdstone 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers


Spoils were shared at a busy Grosvenor Vale as Wealdstone drew 1-1 with relegation battlers Kidderminster Harriers.

 

The Stones took the lead during first-half stoppage time through the in-form Max Kretzschmar, but a late goal from Ash Hemmings rescued a point for the Harriers.

 

Manager David Noble made four changes to the side that were narrowly defeated by Bromley midweek, as Kretzschmar, Sean Adarkwa and Micah Obiero returned to the starting line-up, while Kallum Cesay made his debut.


New signing and former Fulham goalkeeper, Jacob Adams, was named to the bench as Marcus Dewhurst's deputy.

 

The Stones nearly made the perfect start as Kretzschmar’s free-kick was deflected goal-bound in the sixth minute, forcing Christian Dibble to react with a finger-tip save to deny Wealdstone’s number ten.

 

Wealdstone continued to dominate the early exchanges and were tantalisingly close to profiting in the 17th minute through a trio of chances in quick succession. Charlie Barker’s back-heel was well-saved by Dibble, Kallum Tracey Cesay’s effort hit the post, and then Adarkwa’s header agonisingly struck the crossbar.

 

The Stones looked like they had duly taken the lead in the 26th minute when defender Barker found the back of the net, but the assistant referee flagged for offside.

 

With ten minutes of the first-half remaining, the Harriers galvanised their best chance as Amari Morgan-Smith burst forward, beat two Stones defenders and drilled a low strike just wide of the far post.

 

Noble was then forced into an early substitution in the 41st minute as top scorer Adarkwa went down injured and had to be replaced by Manny Duku.

 

However, one minute into stoppage time, the Stones were finally rewarded for their dominance; man-of-the-moment Kretzschmar clinically despatched past Dibble with a fine strike to notch his fourth goal in five games.

 

The Harriers emerged from the interval with intent, nearly drawing level in the 46th minute through the dangerous Morgan-Smith’s fierce strike, but Dewhurst was equal to his effort.

 

As the second-half progressed, the visitors began find to find rhythm and edge themselves back into the contest.

 

With 20 minutes left, the Harriers looked like they had equalised when Jay Emmanuel-Thomas rifled an effort goal-bound from 8-yards, but Dewhurst responded with an excellent save to thwart the substitute.

 

The visitors had another bite of the cherry in the 77th minute when Morgan-Smith teed-up Jack Lambert, forcing Dewhurst to produce another solid save.

 

Phil Brown’s side were eventually rewarded for their persistence, deservedly drawing level in the 82nd minute as Hemmings latched onto Lambert’s perfect through-ball and coolly fired home past Dewhurst to send the match into a tense finale.

 

The Stones had the opportunity to retake the lead in the 89th minute when Jaydn Mundle-Smith struck from inside the box, but his shot was straight at Dibble.

 

Two minutes into added time, the Harriers must have thought they had stolen all three points at the death when Krystian Pearce’s header looked destined for the top corner, but the skipper was denied by the crossbar.

 

Wealdstone return to action on Tuesday evening when the travel to the J Davidson Stadium to face Altrincham in a 7.45pm kick-off.


WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Cesay, Cook (c), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Young, Bowen, Kretzschmar (Henry 74), Mason, Obiero, Adarkwa (Duku 39 (Barrett 85)).


Subs not used: Adams, Seaman.


Attendance: 2,102 (including 389 Kidderminster supporters)


Report by Nicole Cho-Yee

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