Wealdstone needed a last-gasp penalty to keep their FA Cup hopes alive on Saturday with the dramatic equaliser earning the Stones a valuable replay with Bedford Town.

Despite having the lion's share of possession in the FA Cup first qualifying match at the Vale, Wealdstone incredibly found themselves having to claw back a 0-2 half-time deficit.

They started very brightly and quickly began to dominate the midfield with the familiar back line of Massey, Martin and Gray looking solid and comfortably snuffing out early Bedford probing.

Marvin McCoyÕs lightening pace down the right flank caused headaches for the Eagles from the off and it was the Stones who forged the early chances.

But entirely against the run of play Stones showed their lack of experience in losing possession in dangerous areas of the park and paid a heavy price.

Bedford striker Andrew Phillips giving Sean Phillips no chance, lashing in from outside the area with the visitors first shot of the game.

Things were to get worse though when a controversial second just before half time stunned the home faithful.

Massey appeared to have desperately hooked the ball off the goal line and referee Groves shook his head to the Eagles vigorous appeals, but they succeeded in convincing him to consult with his assistant who confidently adjudged the ball to have crossed the line. Stones were now looking squarely down the barrel and facing the earliest of exits from the cup, despite dominating the game.

In the second half a Stephen Hughes strike rattled the far post from a rasping drive early on but increasingly it looked as though Wealdstone's efforts and dominance would come to nothing.

But when Manager Gordon Bartlett decided to throw on all three substitutes it was make or break time and on came Nick Salapatas, Gary Burrell and Ben Clarke. The course of the game almost immediately changed with an injection of real pace and the result was goals.

On 68 minutes, the youthful and energetic Salapatas slung over a great cross on the right for skipper James Gray to power a header past a helpless Armitt.

Stones pressed hard for the equaliser as the clock ran down with Clarke and co. running the Eagles ragged with their fresh, quick, legs. The equaliser was fashioned by the grit of James Gray who was walking back on side with a painful looking arm injury; he received the ball whether he wanted it or not as a promising attack developed. Gray shook off his pain to put a great ball into Ben Clarke who was sent skywards in the box by the hapless Jon Darby. Hughes stepped up to smash in the penalty kick for an exciting and much deserved equaliser with five minutes to go.

Wealdstone: Thomas, McCoy, Massey, Gray, Martin, Ashe, Forbes, Hicks, Alexander, Hughes, Chappell. Subs used: Burrell, Clarke, Salapatas. Not used: Quaye, Woods.