Wealdstone 1-1 Metropolitan Police
One moment of madness brought Wealdstone’s five league game winning streak to an end at home to lowly Met Police on Saturday writes Nick Dugard.
Sean Cronin was the man at the heart of the first-half incident he would rather forget to gift the visitors the leveller which cancelled out man of the match Jonny Wright’s first competitive goal for the club.
It marked the fourth time this season Gordon Bartlett’s side have surrendered league points from a winning position and this will be a source of frustration ahead of three tough road trips – starting with tonight’s visit to Kingstonian – and a home clash with another of the promotion contenders Maidstone on December 21.
However, despite the blip stones will still go top should they pick up a reasonable points haul from these games in hand.
Stones took time to settle into the rhythm of their passing game but soon had The Blues under some pressure from the lively Tom Pett and the energy and link up play of Wright and it was a great piece of combination play from the former that set up Wright in acres of space to poke the ball past keeper Billy Granger on 16 minutes.
However, despite their complete dominance in possession Stones were rocked by a massively unlikely equaliser on the half hour mark.
Skipper Cronin misjudged a back header to Jonathan North and Charlie Collins had the simple task of lobbing the ball in to an unguarded net. The Police couldn’t believe their luck as they celebrated as normal without a single away supporter to enjoy the moment.
Thereafter, Wealdstone tried hard to get incisive moves going, but were unable to take their chances.
Their best opportunity came in the second period when Scott McGleish blasted just over with a half volley after a superb bye line run and lay back from Jerome Okimo.
Prior to that Tom Pett did draw a great save from the erratic Granger but strikes on target were at a premium.
Glen Little was called into action from the bench late on but even he could not conjure up a winner as play either broke down or foundered on a packed Police defence who resisted stoically for the remainder of the match.
After the match disappointed stones boss Gordon Bartlett said: ‘It was very frustrating. We completely dominated the first half hour; they played very square but we didn’t turn them and we became increasingly unable to create clear opportunities to score.
Once they equalised they had a belief and they made it difficult for us. Their goal completely changed the game and they defended well and worked hard to keep the point.