Oct 14 2012 By Jon Batham
Rikki Banks Image 2
RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
IT WAS a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show for Wealdstone today as they were held to a draw by basement boys Thurrock.
Gordon Bartlett’s side, despite just one change in their starting XI were unrecognisable from Monday’s night’s thrilling 5-2 win over Kingstonian, producing an inept and lifeless performance typified by the conceding of an 87th minute equaliser to their Essex visitors.
Stones made a sluggish start and Rikki Banks (pictured) had to be down smartly to hold Ben Smith’s low drive.
The hosts continued to labour and Matt Turpin headed narrowly wide of a gaping goal for the visitors on 13 minutes, his blushes spared by an offside flag.
For all that Bartlett’s man should have led in the 16th minute. Peter Dean slid the ball down the left for Pett and when the winger squared the ball for Richard Jolly the usually lethal marksman lifted his shot which grazed the crossbar and went behind.
The chance did little to ignite Stones though they were close again just past the half hour when Dean flicked on to Pett whose shot was palmed aside by Will Viner.
However, it was no great surprise when Thurrock took the lead in the 37th minute.
Ritchie Jones’ venomous shot from outside the box cannoned the far post, and when Banks failed to hold Sam Berry’s weak follow-up effort Charlie Stimson pounced to force the ball home.
The response from Stones came deep into stoppage-time. Tom Pett refused to give up on a half cleared ball and stole it down the left. His ball across was played back to the edge of the box where Kurtney Brooks hit a dipping shot over Viner and under the crossbar.
The goal and whatever was said in the dressing room at half time did nothing to lift the home side and boss Bartlett decided enough was enough on the hour hooking Chris O’Leary in favour of Nathan Webb, while Pett gave way minutes later to Tommy Brewer.
However, it was Thurrock who threatened when Smith’s header was smuggled behind for a corner, while another header from Berry bristled the top of the netting.
The mood was summed up at the other end when the ball luckily broke to Chappell who went for power and blazed over.
It took another outrageous stroke of luck to put Stones in front with 15 minutes left.
Dean tried to burst through, but there seemed danger when the ball came to Brooks on the edge of the box. The resulting shot was horrible, but in his attempts to clear Lawrence Yiga miscued and deflected the ball beyond Viner.
Even then Stones could not settle and three minutes from time two Thurrock substitutes combined to level the game once more.
Harry Noverty got down the left and when his cross was allowed to travel right to the far post Matt Pooley half volleyed a close range finish beyond Banks.