Aug 22 2012 By Jon Batham
RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
East Thurrock United 1
Wasteful finishing cost Wealdstone dear as they were held to a draw by East Thurrock at The Vale last night.
Stones, looking to build on Saturday’s opening day win over Met Police were imperious for an hour, but had only Richard Jolly’s 42nd minute goal to show for their dominance as other chances went begging.
And the host paid the price when Kris Newby snatched a second half leveller for The Rocks, who might have even won it at the end.
Such a scenario looked unlikely during a thrill-a-minute first half, largely dominated by an unchanged Stones line-up.
The exciting Tom Pett threatened following a superb cross from the right by the excellent Scott McCubbin, before turning provider to tee up Jolly whose goal-bound shot was deflected behind by Steven Sheehan.
Then it was Alex Dyer’s turn to skip passed the challenges and feed Jolly in unfamiliar territory wide on the right. The striker’s intended cross almost embarrassed keeper James Riley before drifting narrowly wide.
It was the 18th minute before East Thurrock sprang to life with a sweeping move which ended with Matt Hall’s shot deflected behind by Massey.
And minutes later another excellent move from the visitors ended with the dangerous Sam Higgins heading narrowly wide.
Higgins was proving a handful up front and escaped again on 32 minutes only to shoot weakly at Rikki Banks.
Stones regained the initiative with a sweeping move instigated by the increasingly influential Pett, before Dyer crossed for Jolly who scooped his shot over the bar.
And they were closer still 10 minutes from the break when McCubbin’s cross from the by-line ricochet over Riley and cannoned against the far post.
Pett too threatened the elusive breakthrough with a beautiful dummy to lose the defender followed by a surging run spoilt only by the shot over the bar.
However, the goal the hosts deserved came on 42 minutes when Dyer sent Jolly racing clear and he fired across Riley and inside the far post.
Stones began brightly after the break and Jolly again went close after good approach work from Dyer and Nathan Webb and Kurtney Brooks cracked one over the top following a super cross from Lee Chappell.
However Stones were stunned when the visitors levelled on 68 minutes.
Sam Collins started the trouble with a shot tipped onto the post by Banks who recovered to block the follow-up effort from Higgins.
Reiss Gilbey had another shot blocked in the melee that followed, but when the ball came back in from the left Newby stole in to lift the ball over Banks.
Both sides might have won it with Banks saving well from both Higgins and Gilbey at one end, while Joe Keith headed a cross from the left just wide of his own post at the other with keeper Riley stranded.