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  • Nicole Cho-Yee

REPORT | Wealdstone 4-2 Dorking Wanderers

Wealdstone produced a scintillating comeback from 2-0 down to beat and all but relegate Dorking Wanderers in a 4-2 win at Grosvenor Vale, also sealing a monumental three points in their own fight for survival.

An own goal from Charlie Barker and a finish from Charlie Carter put the Wanderers into a commanding lead, but a brace from Max Kretzschmar, along with goals from Mason Barrett and Tarryn Allarakhia, completed a phenomenal fightback from the Stones.

After the Stones’ narrow defeat to play-off chasers Southend United on Tuesday evening, interim manager Sam Cox made two changes to the starting line-up, with midfield maestro Alex Dyer and top goalscorer Sean Adarkwa both returning.

The Wanderers started the match brightly, dominating possession during the early stages of this crucial game for both teams’ fight for survival.

As the nerves settled, Wealdstone began to find cohesion and galvanised their first chance in the 17th minute of play when Adarkwa fired a fierce half-volley at Harrison Male, but the Dorking shot-stopper produced a solid save to deny the talisman.

Due to the gravitas of the fixture, play continued in a cagey manner, with neither side able to generate any clear-cut goal scoring opportunities.

The visitors’ first sight of goal came in the 26th minute as Aaron Kuhl struck from range, but the midfielder’s effort flew over the crossbar.

Marc White’s side created two further chances in the 32ndminute which were cleared via some resolute defending from the Stones.

After a tense and goalless first-half, Wealdstone’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when they returned from the interval, conceding an unfortunate own-goal in the 46th minute through Barker’s miscued clearance of substitute Tom Blair’s dangerous cross.

Five minutes later, the Stones then looked like they had a mountain to climb when Dorking doubled their lead as the impactful Blair’s cross found Carter at the far post, who rose highest to head past Marcus Dewhurst.

The Stones’ positive response was instant as in-form Barrett headed home past Male two minutes later to net his first goal for the club and reduce the deficit.

With end-to-end action, the Wanderers nearly opened up a two-goal cushion once again when Luke Moore hit a superb half-volley from range which whistled just wide if the far post.

However, the spirited Stones were back on level terms in the 70th minute as man-of-the-moment Kretzschmar clinically despatched past Male to notch his ninth goal of the season and send the game into a pulsating climax.

Three minutes later, Wealdstone completed their sensational comeback as Kretzschmar stepped up to confidently slot home past Male from 12-yards and seal his brace, after winning the spot-kick.

Bolstered by the fightback, the relentless Stones added another goal in the 77th minute as Allarakhia converted past Male for his eighth goal of the campaign.

By now, Wealdstone were firing on all cylinders and could have easily have had another couple of goals, with Adarkwa and substitute Kallum Cesay being denied by Male.

The Stones will look to take this immense character and momentum into the final three matches of the season. Starting this Saturday when Wealdstone host champions Chesterfield on 13th April in a 3pm kick-off at Grosvenor Vale.

WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Barrett, Cook (c), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Dyer (Bowen 63), Henry (Young 82), Kretzschmar, De Silva (Cesay 85), Allarakhia, Adarkwa.

Subs not used: Duku, Obiero.

Attendance: 1,741

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee


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