Wealdstone FC 1,
Concord Rangers 1,
Concord Rangers left Grosvenor Vale disappointed last night after their 1-1 draw with playoff hopefuls Wealdstone in the National League South.
Sam Collins made his first start since January, Amos Nasha dropped to the bench after a cracking performance and goal against Hungerford on Saturday, and Chiedozie started up top for the Beachboys.
The game started at a frenetic pace, with both teams trying to make their mark on the game early, however it was Concord who were the better side at first. Some neat passing moves zipping across the centre of the field, combined with the pace on the wings provided by the double barrelled duo of Sembie-Ferris and Della-Verde, the visitors were looking dangerous.
The home side had a lot to thank their ‘keeper for, as Jonathan North made some quick and responsive saves to keep out Steve Cawley and Chiedozie. Then came a moment of controversy, after a Concord defender was fouled back near their own penalty area, the ref played an advantage and allowed Dion Sembie-Ferris to get into the Stones box and be ready to slide the ball across to the advancing Della-Verde. However just as he did so, he was cruelly hacked down from behind by a trailing Stones defender. The Beachboys fans behind the goal screamed penalty, Dion writhed pain, but the referee either missed it (being a bit behind the passage of play along with the linesman), or just felt it was a “fair” tackle.
The second half saw the hosts come out fighting, almost literally at one point. They worked their way back into the game after the first half of Concord dominance, and it became much more even, both sides making chances but neither being able to have that cutting edge.
A key incident in the game game on the 63rd minute, when James White went up for a header against Stones’ Aryan Tajbakhsh. Aryan clearly led with his elbow, hitting Whitey square in the face, the ref saw it clear as day and the Stones were down to 10 men. The ref was card-happy on the day, dishing out 10 yellow cards, many weren’t entirely deserved for either side, but this red he got right.
This added impetus to the Concord attack, making the most of the extra man and pushing forward. An attack wasn’t cleared by the Stones defense and the ball was passed to Taylor Miles, who struck a wonder shot which sailed past North and cannoned into the back of the net off the top corner of the post. The small yet passionate Concord faithful were understandably overjoyed at the strike! Stokes nearly doubled the lead but his header was comfortably saved by the Stones ‘keeper.
Concord seemed to take their foot off the gas with around 20 minutes to play, and the game became dominated by the hosts, having made attacking substitutions in an attempt to turn the game around. With just under ten minutes to go, Concord struggled immensely to clear a right-sided Wealdstone attack, and Ed Oshodi won the ball back, playing it to Matt Whichelow, who had returned from injury for tonights game. Whichelow let rip a rocket shot from 25 yards that stormed past Vose in the Concord goal and levelled things up.
Wealdstone had the fire in their bellies now, and spent the final minutes of the game almost constantly on the attack, but the final whistle then blew after 5 minutes of added time and the points were shared.
Concord Rangers – Vose, Laucys, Wyatt, Collins, McKenzie, Miles (Nasha 75), Sembie-Ferris (Topley 90), White (c), Chiedozie (Stokes 65), Cawley, Della-Verde
Unused Subs – Girdlestone, King
Match report by Alan Jessup-Peacock