The Beachboys were left again to rue their luck, as another home game passed with them not finding the back of the net writes Chris Clark.
Fresh from beating Weston Super Mare on the road, the lads were in buoyant mood as they entertained long time rivals Wealdstone in very humid conditions at the Aspect Arena. In fact the opening stages were very keenly contested with both sides crunching into the challenges. It was hard fought, and any chances were going to be hard-earned.
It wasn’t until the 16th minute when we had the first strike on goal, when Dumaka found space twenty-five yards from goal and unleashed a fierce drive which Jonathan North in the Wealdstone goal parried up into the air, and then clutched the rebound.
Wealdstone’s game plan was to turn the Concord defence at every opportunity with long balls over the top, however with Marvin Ekpiteta and Jack Lampe in fine form, this tactic was fairly fruitless in what was a poor first half performance from the visitors.
It was Concord who had another chance mid-way through the first half, as good build up play down the left hand side between Steve Cawley and Joao Carlos, led to Adam Topley coming infield from the right hand side to find space on the edge of the box…however Adam could not hit the target when well placed on the edge of the box. This was to be a recurring theme throughout the night for the Beachboys.
Into the closing stages of a first half which was mainly contested in the middle of the park, and Concord earned a free kick on the right hand side, just outside the penalty area. Sam Collins on his left foot curled a shot in, but North again parried it away, and it was hooked away by the Wealdstone defence. That was that for the first half.
Concord Rangers 0
The second half got underway, and Concord started the stronger of the two sides. If you haven’t scored a goal at home so far this season, you need a bit of luck and on 48minutes the Beachboys had none. Joao Carlos drove at the Wealdstone goal in a central position and fired at goal from the edge of the box, his shot deflected off a Wealdstone defender…North was helpless in the Wealdstone goal…but the ball went agonisingly past the post. When your luck is out, it is out.
Concord were on top, and Steve Cawley fired a shot just wide on 54 minutes. However Wealdstone took the lead a minute later. An innocuous corner was swung into the box, and big centre-half Tom Hamblin was there to head home from six yards unmarked. It was a soft goal to concede, but the visitors weren’t complaining.
The Beachboys were certainly pressing for an equaliser, but in the final third composure and just that bit of luck was lacking. Joao Carlos curled over the bar, and then substitute Harvey Hodd shot wide when well placed.
With fifteen minutes to go, Concord had their best chance so far. Jay Dowie clipped the ball into the box, it was flicked on by Steve Cawley to the unmarked Harvey Hodd who was six yards out. For a split-second Hodd hesitated and that was all the encouragement North needed to come out of his goal and block the danger.
The Beachboys continued to press in the last ten minutes, and their effort could not be faulted, but they just could not create a decent opportunity against a Wealdstone defence who had defended their penalty area solidly all evening.
Then in time added on…Concord’s final chance. The ball was whipped into the box and Dumaka flung himself at the ball. His strong header smacked against the bar and the rebound was volleyed away. The referee immediately blew his whistle. Concord had huffed and puffed, but cannot find that elusive goal at home.
Concord Rangers 0
Wealdstone 1 (Hamblin 55)
Team: McNamara, Girdlestone, Onyemah, Lampe, Ekpiteta; Dowie, Collins (c), Topley (sub Hodd 60), Carlos; Cawley, Dumaka
Subs not used: – Laucys, Morgan, White, Young.