Youthful Stones beaten by Northwood on penalties
A young Wealdstone squad of 12 academy players were narrowly defeated 7-6 on penalties by 10-man Northwood following a 2-2 draw at The Skyline Stadium in the Middlesex Charity Cup.
The Stones took the lead on the 35th minute when Armari Adams was on hand to head in Lewis Kinsella’s pinpoint free-kick.
The advantage was then doubled from the spot, just after half-time, when Adams raced through on goal, only to be scythed down by Brandon Kalu, earning the Northwood centre-half a red card and Wealdstone a chance to score from the spot, which they did through skipper Kinsella.
Despite being a man down, Northwood rallied themselves to fight back and pulled a goal back in the 59th minute when Micah Jackson’s effort from the edge of the area deflected off a Wealdstone defender and into the back of the back of the net.
On 68 minutes, the home side drew the score level when Dan Williams was found unmarked from a corner to head the ball in.
All square at full-time, the game was then decided on penalties. Northwood, with the next 13 penalties scored by both sides before the responsibility fell to Wealdstone's Elijah Hearn, who fired his penalty over the bar to send the Stones out of the Middlesex Charity Cup.
With the majority of the Wealdstone first-team facing off against Chesterfield in the National League, a plethora of academy players adorned the starting line-up, picked by Kenny Mutsanya and Cameron Mawer at the Skyline Stadium.
First-teamer Kinsella did play and captained the young side, he was joined by Mason Barrett and Jaydn Mundle-Smith from the first team, as well as Hearn who has four first team appearances under his belt.
The game started slow, with both sides looking to take control of the game, but it was the home side that had the first real opportunity of the match, in the 18th minute when Williams gathered the ball on the edge of the box and fired straight at Arun Khan. Just two minutes later, Williams fired an almost identical opportunity straight at the keeper once again.
On the 25th minute, the Stones fashioned their first real opportunity of the game, when three stunning saves from Andrew McKorkell saw the ball eventually fall into the path of Declan Phillips, who fired the ball straight at the defender with the whole goal to aim at.
The Stones would continue to create the better chances of the half, and opened the scoring on the 35th minute through Adams. A pinpoint, in-swinging free-kick from Kinsella found the head of Adams, who finished past the keeper to give his side the lead.
The second half started as perfectly as the Stones would’ve wanted when Armari Adams raced through on goal, only to be taken down inside the box by Kanu to earn the Stones a penalty and a subsequent red card for the defender.
With experience on his side, Kinsella was handed the responsibility to take the spot-kick and buried his effort to the right-hand side.
On the 59th minute, 10-man Northwood halved the visitors advantage when a deflected strike on the edge of the box from Jackson looped over Khan and into the back of the net.
The hosts would then level the score on the 68th minute when a corner was swung straight onto the head of Williams, who placed his header brilliantly into the far corner.
Just minutes remaining on the clock and both sides heavy in the legs, the ball fell to Gareth Chendlik on the edge of the box who hit a quite sublime volley just wide of Khan’s goal as the supporters were left gasping at the spectacular effort.
With the visitors failing to take advantage of the extra man, the game was then sent to penalties. With all ten players scoring the opening spot-kicks, the shootout was then taken to sudden death.
With the home side 7-6 up, the responsibility was then handed to Hearn, who blazed his penalty over the crossbar to send Northwood through to the next round of the Middlesex Charity Cup.
WEALDSTONE: Khan, Hearn, Kinsella, Harvey (Polatkan 75’), Mundle-Smith, Barrett, Jobakteh (Teweldabrmane 61’), Phillips, Adams, Brown, Babalola (Brookshaw 80’).
Unused Subs: Munroe, Wilson-Braithwaite.
Report by Will Beaman