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National League South: Wealdstone battle back to earn deserved draw at leaders Dartford

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 November 2017

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic: freddiepatmore.com)

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic: freddiepatmore.com)

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National League South: Dartford 3 Wealdstone 3

Wealdstone and National League leaders Dartford played out an enthralling 3-3 draw at Princes Park on Tuesday evening.

Half of the games goals were scored in the opening 13 minutes with Abobaker Eisa giving the Stones a fifth minute lead before Alfie Pavey responded for the Darts three minutes later and Danny Green put the Stones back in front.

Pavey scored his and Dartford’s second in the 69th minute before substitute Andy Pugh put the hosts ahead with ten minutes to go. Eisa was then tripped in the box by Mark Onyemah allowing Green to rescue a deserved point for the Stones in the 87th minute. Lee Noble was then dismissed for the hosts late on.

Stones boss Bobby Wilkinson made two changes to the side that lost their first league game in nine, at Oxford City on the weekend. Sam Cox and Luke Williams replaced Ricky Wellard and Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick.

An edge-of-the-seat encounter throughout, the visitors almost took the lead inside a minute, Matt Day intercepted in the middle before setting free Ryan Sellers down the right, his low cross was met by Mustafa Tiryaki but the Turkish forward blasted at Deren Ibrahim from close range.

Then five minutes in the Stones lead from a devastating counter-attack; Williams cleared to Green who slotted in an inch-perfect through ball to Eisa who fired it past Ibrahim into the net.

Dartford’s reply was immediate. Lyle Della-Verde fed a ball to Onyemah on the left, his cross found Elliot Bradbrook who skewed his shot but thankfully for him Pavey reacted to get on the end of it inside the box and slot past Jonathan North.

This failed to peg back the Stones who netted again through a clinical period of play. A ball was cleared to Tiryaki who held it up for Williams to square to Green in the box, he took a great first touch to set up a shot which he knocked past Ibrahim and restored Wealdstone’s lead.

Dartford almost equalised in freak fashion. Taofiq Olomowewe played a relatively simple back pass to North, this was chased down by Warren Mfula and North’s clearance rebounded off the forward before hitting the post and going out of play.

North kept the hosts at bay once more before half time when he tipped Ronnie Vint’s header wide from a Della-Verde free kick.

The league leaders then showed their quality in the second half. A long free kick was played into the box which North misjudged, a bit of pinball then pursued before it eventually fell to Pavey who poked it in to level.

The Darts continued to ask questions of the Stones back line and took the lead for the first time in the game when substitutes Tom Murphy and Pugh combined. Murphy crossed for Pugh who held off Olomowewe before hitting a low shot through a crowd of bodies and into the goal.

But the Stones failed to go down without a fight and equalised with three minutes to go. Eisa wriggled into the box before being tripped by Onyemah giving referee Wayne Cartmel no choice but to point to the spot.

Green stepped up and shot hard to Ibrahim’s left, the Gibraltar international got a hand to it but it wasn’t enough to keep out of the net and deny Wealdstone a deserved point.

Just when you thought the game couldn’t offer any more entertainment, Noble picked up two quick-fire yellow cards in injury time but Wealdstone had little time left to make the most of the man advantage.

WEALDSTONE: North, Oshodi, Sellers, Olomowewe, Day, Cox, Williams (Fitchett 85), Okimo, Tiryaki, Green, Eisa.

Subs not used: Goodger, Ngamvoulou, Brown, Whichelow.

Goals: Eisa (5), Green (13), (87 pen)

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