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  • Nicole Cho-Yee

REPORT | Woking 1-1 Wealdstone

Wealdstone held off some late pressure from Woking to seal a solid point on the road at The Laithwaite Community Stadium.

A second-half goal from Nathan Ferguson was cancelled out by Charley Kendall as the Stones played out a tight 1-1 draw with Woking.

Manager David Noble made two changes to the side that booked their place into the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy midweek, with a comfortable victory over Hendon.

Jack Young made his first start for the Stones, Charlie Seaman returned to the starting line-up, and new signing Trae Cook-Appiah from Walton & Hersham was named to the bench.

Although Wealdstone enjoyed the lion’s share of possession during the opening stages of the match, they were unable to create any clear-cut chances.

On the half hour mark, the Stones crafted their first opportunity of the half when in-form ex-Cardinal Tarryn Allarakhia broke free following a favourable deflection, but the Cards’ shot-stopper Will Jaaskelainen was quick off of his line to thwart the effort.

Five minutes before half-time, Woking registered their first threat on goal as Rohan Ince looped a header on target, but Dewhurst claimed well for the Stones.

On the stroke of half-time, Jaaskelainen found Jayden Luker with a pinpoint pass; he tried to loft the ball into the far corner, but Marcus Dewhurst responded with a fine save.

Moments later, Scott Cuthbert had a free header from the resultant corner, but the defender could only direct his header wide of the far post.

In the 52nd minute, the Stones were agonisingly close to taking the lead when Aaron Henry’s teasing free-kick found Ferguson at the back post and his header was on target for the top corner, but Scott reacted with an excellent goal-line clearance.

Three minutes later, Allarakhia cut inside and curled a superb effort from just outside the box that flew narrowly wide.

Wealdstone continued in their pursuit for an opening goal and came close again in the 58th minute when skipper Jack Cook went on another marauding run, cutting the ball back to Allarakia, who span his defender and fired on target, but Jaaskelainen responded with a solid save.

The Stones finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute when Corie Andrews broke the Cards’ defensive line and squared to Ferguson, who slid the ball home past Jaaskelainen at the far post.

Woking were nearly on level terms two minutes later when Curtis Edwards drilled a low strike from 20 yards out, but his effort rebounded off of the post.

With a narrow advantage, the Stones continued to search for a second goal, coming close in the 76th minute when Allarakhia’s teasing cross was flicked towards goal by Cook, but the Cards managed to deflect the effort wide.

Late drama ensued as Woking equalised in the 78th minute to send the contest into a tense finale. Kendall, who had just been substituted on, met Manny Oyeleke’s whipped cross with a bullet header to score with his first touch of the match.

With six minutes remaining, the hosts were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box, but Lewis Walker’s striker was punched away by Dewhurst.

The Cards finished the game with a flurry as they probed for a winner in extra time. Oyeleke blasted a volley just wide in the 92nd minute, then substitute Dan Moss had a brilliant chance to steal all three points at the death, but he blazed his strike over the bar from close range.

Wealdstone return to action this Tuesday 26th February when they travel to the Crown Oil Arena to face Rochdale AFC in a 7.45pm kick-off.

WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Cook (c), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Seaman, Mason, Young, Henry, Ferguson (Dyer 82), Allarakhia (Bowen 90), Andrews (Cook-Appiah 75).

Subs not used: Woodman, Kretzschmar.

Attendance: 2,221 (including 208 Wealdstone supporters)

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee


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