REPORT | Wealdstone 1-1 Oldham Athletic
Wealdstone end Oldham Athletic’s winning run as the two sides battled out a hard fought 1-1 draw at Grosvenor Vale.
The away side took the lead through a fine solo effort from Alex Reid in the 31st minute which was cancelled out by a trademark effort from the in-form Sam Bowen just four minutes later.
Stuart Maynard made four changes to the side that beat Woking in midweek with club top scorer Tahvon Campbell returning from injury to replace Sean Adarkwa in the starting line-up. Charlie Barker came back into the side after his suspension replacing Mason Barrett as well as Nathan Ferguson and Alex Dyer coming in for Ashley Charles and Micah Obiero.
A hectic start to the game saw the visitors come close to taking the lead just three minutes when a scything pass played Reid in on-goal, but a fine save from Jed Ward down to his right denied the Oldham forward.
5 minutes later the Stones thought they’d taken the lead when Campbell finished well past Mathew Hudson, but the offside flag cut celebrations short and the Stones had to reset and go again.
Still looking for an early goal the Stones couldn’t have come much closer to taking the lead as the lively Campbell went on a surging solo run, which ended with the striker smacking an effort off the crossbar.
With the game finely balanced and both sides looking a threat, it was the away side that made the breakthrough, 31 minutes in, when a loose back-pass set Reid through on goal. A clever touch inside took Charles Clayden out of the equation and a tidy finish past Ward sealed the deal to send the away end into raptures.
Not letting the visitors goal get them down, the Stones reacted well to the set-back and levelled the score just four minutes later when the in-form Bowen sent a precise curling effort into the bottom corner, from the edge of the box, to bring the scores level.
As the two sides came out for the second-half, it was the away side that came the closest to going ahead first as Reid fizzed a ball across the face of goal, that was narrowly missed by a sliding Kurt Willoughby.
A second-half played at a relatively slower pace than the first period saw fewer clear-cut chances and the Stones first effort came in the form of a Ferguson long-shot, which uncharacteristically bobbled wide of Hudson’s goal.
Oldham would be the next team to go close from range as the ball fell kindly to Nathan Sheron on the edge of the box and his fierce deflected effort whistled past the Wealdstone goal.
As the second half wore on, it was the home side that looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck and a dominant spell around the 75-minute mark saw the Stones come close to scoring when a goalmouth scramble fell to Jack Cook inside the area, but a strong block from an Oldham defender denied what would’ve been a certain goal.
With the Oldham defence sitting deep in the dying embers, it would have taken a precise effort to find the back of the net and it almost came in the form of a trademark Bowen effort from the edge of the box, but it wasn’t to be as it sailed past the post.
Maynard’s side face a long trip to Gateshead on Tuesday night at 7:45pm.
WEALDSTONE: Ward, Cook (c) (Barrett 82), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Smith, Dyer, Ferguson (Allarakhia 71), Bowen, Clayden, Abdulmalik (Obiero 78), Campbell.
Subs not used: Andrews, Adarkwa.
Report by Will Beaman