RYMAN PREMIER LEAGUE
ELLIOTT Godfrey’s superbly struck goal was the highlight for a patchy Wealdstone in their first home match of the season against Bognor on Monday night.
Godfrey arrowed home a 20-yard shot on 36 minutes which had Stones undeservedly 2-0 in front, but the lead was wiped out before half-time and though Gordon Bartlett’s men improved after the break when they had two goals disallowed for offside and a blatant penalty not given in truth a point was as much as they deserved.
Stones almost scored inside a minute when Godfrey’s quick turn and pass released Peter Dean whose shot was grabbed by Mark Zawadski at the second attempt.
It was the home side’s last chance for a while as the visitors took control
Jey Siva’s last ditch block thwarted Bognor’s first real threat, before James Crane missed his kick after a knockdown by Aaron Hopkinson.
With the hosts subdued Adam Martin fouled Crane right on the edge of the box on 10 minutes but Terry Dodd’s curling shot was deflected over.
The visitors were dictating play and their next free-kick on the left found its way to Hopkinson whose fierce drive from the edge was touched over by the fingertips of Jonathan North.
Having played second fiddle it was Wealdstone who took the lead with a set piece of their own on 23 minutes.
Chris Moore was fouled by Daryl Wollers who escaped a caution for kicking the ball away. However, the delay did Bognor no favours as when Siva played the ball in they failed to spot skipper Wes Parker sneaking between defenders to sweep the ball under Zawadski.
Without playing well Stones doubled the lead nine minutes before the break.
The goal owed much to the industry of Peter Dean who harried the defender into a mistake on the left and when the stalwart front man laid the ball inside Godfrey shot beyond Zawadski and just inside the near post.
Just as Bognor looked shaky they hit back five minutes from the break. There was a suspicion of handball in the build-up but when the ball came to Hopkinson his shot from outside the box hit team-mate Harvey Whyte sending the ball passed the wrong footed North.
Not content with scoring once Whyte was at it again a minute before the break, skipping passed some limp defending to fire beyond North’s right hand.
As expected Sean Cronin replaced Siva at the break, the left back having had a torrid first 45, Jerome Ochimo moving out to the left in the reshuffle.
There was no noticeable improvement from Stones early in the half and they were almost undone by a swift counter-attack resulting from indecision at their own free kick on the edge of the Rocks’ box.
Jack Hutchinson replaced Martin just beyond the hour as Stones looked for more creativity and the substitute soon produced a surging run to release Tom Pett.
When the resulting cross from the right came back to Stefan Bailey the former QPR man’s shot clearly hit a hand but referee Dan Robotham inexplicably waved play on.
With Parker struggling with cramp Bartlett threw Reece Grant on with 20 minutes left, Bailey moving to full-back and Hammond to centre-back as Stones reorganised once more.
The youngster might have scored within seconds when he headed over Zawadski, but Peter Dean made sure only for the goal to then be ruled out for offside.
Just two minutes later Stones had another one chalked off with their teenage substitute again at the heart of the action.
Hutchinson was played in down the right and fired across the box where Grant lost his marker before stooping to head home.
However, cheers for his first senior goal died in the throats of Stones’ fans as the assistant’s flag was raised once more.
Grant headed another chance over and fired a free-kick just wide while Cronin went close in stoppage time, but honours finished even.