RYMAN PREMIER LEAGUE
WEALDSTONE lost ground in their bid for a playoff place on Saturday when they were held at home by championship chasers Billericay.
The FA Trophy semi-finalists took an early lead against the league leaders through Richard Jolly’s 35th goal of the season and though the Essex visitors soon levelled, Gordon Bartlett’s men had the better of the first-half chances.
However, the exploits of the last few weeks appeared to catch up with them after the break in a sterile second half.
Stones made a dream start when on three minutes Jolly turned sharply on Kurtney Brooks’ pass to hit his shot under Dale Brightly from the edge of the box.
However, the leaders were level within four minutes. Stones failed to deal with the goalkeeper’s free-kick into the box, Sam Berry played it to the far post and though Jonathan North saved superbly from Glen Poole’s initial volley the former Brentford man was first to the rebound to score.
Wealdstone were struggling with the physical difference between the sides and survived a major scare on 17 minutes when Jay May’s over the shoulder shot beat North, but cannoned off the underside of the bar and was scrambled to safety.
As Gordon Bartlett’s men fought back Tom Pett’s drive was deflected behind and from the resulting corner Chappell’s shot through crowd of players beat Brightly, but Richard Halle cleared off the line.
Stones again came within inches of restoring their lead when Chappell’s throw was only half cleared and former Watford man Brooks’ header was looping under the bar until it was headed off the line by Dave Collis.
North twice tipped over a Chris wild header soon after the restart, before making a fabulous stop from a more powerful effort from the same player from the resulting corner.
However, that was about it for the goalmouth action as the game petered out.