Report - Wealdstone 0 - 1 Wycombe Wanderers
Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Wealdstone were beaten by League One side Wycombe Wanderers at The Vale in their penultimate pre-season friendly on Tuesday evening.
An early opener from Scott Kashket was the difference between the two sides, but Wealdstone’s 18-year-old goalkeeper Joe Ringer provided a brilliant performance on his first start for the first team.
There were two last minute changes for Wealdstone before kick-off as Ringer replaced longstanding ‘keeper Jonathan North, while Jake Sheppard also replaced a Trialist in the starting line-up.
The Chairboys broke the deadlock after three minutes when Kashket ran through down the left and struck a powerful shot low across Ringer into the bottom corner.
Gareth Ainsworth’s men were 1-0 up early and looked to double their tally four minutes later, as Nick Freeman glided with the ball in midfield.
Freeman broke away down the middle and unleashed a rocket from 25-yards which was firmly palmed over the bar by Ringer.
Wealdstone needed to take back control after a quick start by the away side, Billy Clifford sent a delightful through-ball to Jacob Mendy just before the 10-minute mark but the winger could not convert.
The home side regained more possession after the initial 10 minutes and started playing the football that suits more to Dean Brennan’s philosophy.
Mendy looked to split the Wycombe defence in the 19th minute when Clifford’s searching ball into the box was too powerful for Mendy to gather.
The Stones were always reluctant to being caught on the counter-attack after going behind so early, Freeman broke away on the right after 26 minutes and was only denied by a last-gasp Jerome Okimo tackle.
A largely uneventful first half was almost capped off with an equaliser three minutes before the interval when Danny Green charged into the area but Wycombe’s Trialist ‘keeper was equal to Green’s effort.
Wealdstone contained Wycombe well after going behind so early, but the Stones lacked a killer edge in the first half and did not threaten the Chairboys goal.
The second half saw Wealdstone start a lot quicker than they did in the first, talisman Ross Lafayette could not convert a header from Green’s free-kick in the 51st minute.
Wycombe began to gain momentum and looked for the vital second goal, two young Stones stars kept the Chairboys at bay in the 66th minute.
Paul Smyth found Craig Mackail-Smith in the box and Mackail-Smith’s shot was expertly saved by Ringer onto the near-post.
Matt Bloomfield was quickest to the rebound and pounced to the loose ball from close-range, but Bloomfield’s follow-up was fantastically blocked on the line by Stones centre-half Connor Stevens.
Wealdstone sensed that they still have a chance to draw the game level, the equaliser was millimetres away in the 73rd minute when Dennon Lewis broke away down the left channel.
Lewis was able to play a low controlled square-ball to Sanchez Watt in the penalty area; Watt took the ball in his stride and shot left-footed first-time but the shot agonisingly cannoned off the post.
The chance for the Stones to level the match had past and as the game began to peter out, Wycombe won a penalty with five minutes left when Jacob Cook fouled Smyth in the penalty area.
Jason McCarthy was given the opportunity to put the game to bed from 12-yards for the Chairboys, but Ringer dived to his right and pulled off an outstanding double-save.
It was not the result that Brennan would have wanted, however, the Stones put in a strong performance against Football League opposition and there were plenty of positives for Brennan to take going into the final game of pre-season.
The Stones' final game of pre-season is against Brentford 'B' at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday 27th July, kick-off is at 3pm.
Wealdstone: Ringer, Arnold (Efete, 45), Sellers, Clifford (Watt, 45), Stevens (Coker, 69), Okimo, Sheppard (Richards, 69), Smith (Saunders, 69), Lafayette (Noel-Williams, 69), Green (Cook, 69), Mendy (Lewis, 69). Subs not used: Paterson.
Report by Dec O'Reilly
Match Photos by Dan Finill are available HERE