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  • Writer's pictureWill Beaman

REPORT | Wealdstone 3-2 Barnet


A dramatic 98th minute winner from Charlie Barker sealed all three points for Wealdstone as they defeated bitter rivals Barnet in a thrilling contest at the Vale.

 

The visitor’s early opener, scored by former Stones captain Jerome Okimo, was cancelled out just two minutes later by Stones captain successor Jack Cook.

 

Dean Brennan’s side took the lead once again in the 27th minute when Nicke Kabamba, a familiar goal-scorer against the Stones, finished well past Marcus Dewhurst.

 

The Stones came out in the second-half with a point to prove and found their equaliser in the 52nd minute when Cook scored his brace, making it four goals in his last two home games.

 

Stuart Maynard made one change to the side that were defeated in Halifax with Corie Andrews coming in for Sean Adarkwa. There was a place on the bench for Max Kretzschmar, who was returning from injury, and Brooklyn Ilunga, after joining the Stones for his second loan spell at Grosvenor Vale.

 

A thrilling start to the match, as expected from a derby day rivalry, saw a number of chances early on for both sides. Micah Obiero came close to opening the scoring when his effort from range fizzed past Laurie Walker’s post just two minutes in.

 

Ten minutes later, it was the visitors that had their own chance to open the scoring as Dale Gorman’s deflected effort caused chaos in the Wealdstone penalty area, but was well defended by the Stones back-line.

 

Despite their resilience, the Stones couldn’t keep Brennan’s side out for much longer and the visitors opened the scoring just a minute later when a flick-on fell straight to Okimo, who placed the ball past Dewhurst in the Wealdstone goal.

 

But the Stones didn’t let the visitor’s opener affect them and levelled the score, just two minutes later, when Cook finished well into the top corner, sending the Stones faithful into raptures.

 

The game continued in the exciting manner in which it started and there were chances aplenty for both sides for the next 15 minutes. Harry Pritchard forced a big diving save out of Dewhurst, 20 minutes in, just after Andrews had gone close to putting the Stones ahead with a headed effort that fizzed just wide.

 

But it was Brennan’s side that were able to go ahead once again, when Kabamba knocked the ball past Walker, 27 minutes in, making it three goals in three games against the Stones.

 

Looking to react in the same manner that they did for the first Barnet goal, the Stones came close to equalising straight after when a pinpoint pass from Brandon Mason played Andrews through on goal, but the striker’s goal-bound effort was denied by a stunning block from Danny Collinge.

 

A bright start to the second-half for Maynard’s side saw a period of dominance rewarded with an equalising goal when Cook bagged his second goal of the game when he snuck the ball into the near post with a header from a corner.

 

Just minutes later, fuelled on the energy of their equaliser, it looked as though the Stones were going ahead when Mason hit a fierce effort towards Walker’s goal, but it whizzed narrowly past the post.

 

An end-to-game that would’ve been thrilling for a neutral had the pulses racing for the both sets of fans throughout the 90 minutes. A heart in the mouth moment for Wealdstone fans came in the 75th minute when Adebola Oluwo’s point-blank header looked destined to put the visitors ahead for the third time, but a heroic goal-line clearance from Charlie Barker kept the hosts in the game.

 

With the game coming to a close and it looking like a draw would be the final result, the Stones were given one final chance to get the ball into the box from a corner in the eighth minute of injury time.

 

The ball came floating into the box in what felt like slow motion and was met by the on-rushing Barker, who powered his header past Walker to send Grosvenor Vale into absolute ecstasy.

 

An incredible game ended with three points for the Stones who travel to Southend United next Saturday for their 3pm fixture.

 


WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Cook (c) (Barrett 80), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Mason (Ilunga 70), Charles, Bowen, Allarakhia, Obiero, Campbell, Andrews (Kretzschmar 64).


Subs not used: Ferguson, Adarkwa.


Attendance: 2,515 (including 556 Barnet supporters)


Report by Will Beaman

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