National League South: East Thurrock 1 Wealdstone 1
PUBLISHED: 20:46 02 September 2017
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Bobby Wilkinson was denied his first win as Wealdstone boss by a late Sam Higgins equaliser as East Thurrock United kept their unbeaten record intact.
The visitors dominated from start to finish and Matty Whichelow scored after 13 minutes, only for Higgins to level in the 89th minute.
Wilkinson made three changes to the side that drew with Hemel Hempstead Town on Bank Holiday Monday as Ricky Wellard and Whichelow returned to the starting line-up and Matt Day made his debut at centre-back.
Other new boys Kaid Mohamed and Jermaine Osei were named on the bench while fellow new signing Luke Williams is still a week away from full fitness.
Stones took an early lead despite a fairly even first 10 minutes as Wellard played in Whichelow on the edge of the box and he spun and placed a well-struck effort into the bottom left corner of the net.
Whichelow almost doubled his tally midway through the half with a sudden burst of pace followed by a 25-yard shot which was just over the bar.
Ryan Sellers then saw his first action of the season before half time with Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick hobbling off with a painful looking ankle injury.
The second half was a niggly affair but the unbeaten home side failed to break through a stubborn Stones defence with Jonathan North asked to make no saves of note.
It took until the 62nd minute for Stones to have a key chance to double the lead, again from Whichelow.
The midfielder latched on to a long ball before rounding keeper Lukas Lidakevicius but the angle was too tight to roll into the net and the Lithuanian keeper collected his cross-goal ball.
Mohamed was then introduced and showed nous to take a quick throw-in to Wellard whose goalbound volley was crucially blocked by Marvin Ekpetita.
And with the clock ticking down the Rocks equalised when a low free-kick was played to Higgins and he held off his man to blast past North from close range and preserve the home side’s unbeaten start to the season.
Stones left Essex with a point but will be much heartened by the performance of the season so far and the news that imposing midfielder Stephane Ngamvoulou is expected to join the squad during the week.
Wealdstone: North, Oshodi, Brown, Hill, Day, Whichelow, Wellard, Okimo (c), Fitchett (Benyon 90), Green (Mohamed 70), Hippolyte-Patrick (Sellers 42).
Unused subs: Godfrey, Osei.
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