Jan 2 2013 By Jon Batham
Richard Jolly Image 2
Wealdstone 2-3 Wingate & Finchley
WOEFUL Wealdstone’s 14-month unbeaten home league run came to an end of New Year’s Day after a last-gasp fight-back against Wingate & Finchley came up short.
Trailing 3-0 against their relegation-haunted north London visitors with just six minutes to play Stones struck twice in 45 seconds before having two great chances to snatch a point as time ran out.
They will point to referee Foley’s decision not to send off Ronayne Marsh-Brown for a foul on Jolly early on when the game was still goalless and an assistant referee’s flag which incorrectly ruled out an equaliser by the host’s leading marksman.
However, the late rally and the controversies could not disguise a dreadful showing by Gordon Bartlett’s men.
The warning signs were there from the start as Lee Chappell cleared a Daniel Brown shot off the line, before the first controversy on 23 minutes.
Jolly appeared to be clipped by Marsh-Brown as he raced onto Alex Dyer’s pass but aware he would have to brandish red if he blew for a foul, referee Foley gave nothing.
Just six minutes later Wingate were ahead when Rikki Banks could only beat out Jack Hutchinson’s long range shot and Brown pounced on the rebound to score.
More controversy followed the restart as Jolly headed in Tom Pett’s flick at the far post only for the flag to still the shouts of celebrating home supporters.
The visitors though continued to be the better side and Anthony Thomas headed against a post before Brown was sent racing clear to make it 2-0 before the break.
Brown and Scott Shulton wasted gilt-edged chances after the break for the visitors before Wayne O’Sullivan appeared to seal the points with the third just beyond the hour.
The disappointing Dyer missed two one-on-one’s with Middleton and hit the bar with a third effort as Wealdstone at last roused themselves, but fans were heading for the exits when Jolly volleyed what seemed just a consolation with six minutes left.
However, amazingly it was game on when substitute Nathan Webb slotted home straight from the restart.
Aaron Tumwa’s shot cannoned off a defender and a follow-up was blocked as Stones sniffed the unlikeliest of points, but Jolly ballooned over from no more than six yards in stoppage-time as defeat was confirmed.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s game at Leiston was postponed leaving Bartlett’s men facing another long midweek away trip.