FA Cup: Maidenhead 1 Wealdstone 1
PUBLISHED: 13:38 20 October 2019
Wealdstone will host an FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay with Maidenhead United after a 1-1 draw at York Road on Saturday.
An early second-half strike from Ross Lafayette looked like being the Stones winner until Ryan Upward found a late equaliser for the home side.
The Stones began the brighter of the two sides and set a quick tempo early on, with Billy Clifford's curling effort and Lafayette's first-time volley from the edge of the box proving the highlights of the early pressure.
National League outfit Maidenhead held firm in the opening 10 minutes until Jake Cassidy was the first to curl a strike wide.
The game became as tight as many predicted, with no shots registered until Magpies forward Josh Kelly's counter-attacking drive down the right was comfortably saved by Aston Oxborough.
The Stones reacted with the biggest chance of the half after 24 minutes, as an inswinging corner from Danny Green found Jerome Okimo and he was unfortunate to see his header bounce off the far post.
A lead for the away side would have been deserved and Maidenhead needed to respond, with Oxborough denying Joe Ellul the opener on the half-hour mark when the Norwich City loanee got low to parry away the back-post header.
The tie became more even again as the Magpies looked to create through Ryheem Sheckleford on the right, as he fired the ball across the face of goal and wide of a target.
Wealdstone got back on the front-foot and finished the half the stronger side, Dennon Lewis and Sanchez Watt both were unfortunate to not convert before the break.
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An audacious curler from Magpies speedster Josh Smile at the edge of the box flew over before the whistle was blown for half-time.
But Stones made a bright start to the second half and took the lead after six minutes when Lafayette brought the ball down beautifully with the top of his boot from Clifford's lofted pass and fired low across goal into the bottom corner of the net.
Connor Stevens almost extended Wealdstone's lead on the hour mark when he was unlucky to head Clifford's cross from the left over the bar.
But the visitors kept the pressure on and Sanchez Watt was the next to create an opportunity after an intelligent turn on the edge of the box ended in the former Arsenal winger's strike being saved by Chris Dunn.
Wealdstone kept pushing on, looking to put the tie to bed, and Michel Efete struck goalwards after a mazy run from right-back left him on the edge of the box.
The home side then regained momentum and floated direct, deep passes into the area in the final 15 minutes to find an equaliser.
A fantastic tackle from Efete on the edge of the box led to a counter-attack with Clifford and Lewis abruptly breaking down near the halfway line.
Maidenhead kept pushing and eventually found their goal four minutes from time as Upward latched onto a parry from Oxborough and bounced the ball into the bottom corner with his right foot.
Wealdstone's performance warranted huge appreciation from the travelling fans in the corner of the Bell Street stand, though, and they will get a second chance on home turf.
Wealdstone: Oxborough, Mendy, Efete, Clifford, Stevens, Okimo, Phillips, Watt, Lafatette, Green, Lewis. Subs: Smith, Ringer, Saunders, Charles, Coker, Sheppard, Arnold.
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