National League South: Hampton & Richmond 1 Wealdstone 1
PUBLISHED: 08:49 27 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:49 27 December 2017
Wealdstone battled to a hard-earned draw at Middlesex rivals Hampton & Richmond Borough on Boxing Day at The Beveree.
Charlie Wassmer headed in from a corner in a first half that the hosts dominated, but then Abobaker Eisa’s header just before half time sucker-punched Hampton.
Stones boss Bobby Wilkinson made just two changes to the side that lost to St Albans City on Saturday with Taofiq Olomowewe and Stephane Ngamvoulou replacing Glenn Wilson and Matt Day who dropped to the bench.
But it was far from the ideal start from Wilkinson’s men as Wassmer, who was aerially dominant all afternoon, rose highest from a corner and nodded past Jonathan North to give the Beavers a sixth-minute lead.
Hampton continued to pepper the Stones goals with shots and Olomowewe did well to block efforts from Justin Amaluzor and Shaun McAuley while North had to be alert to tip Brendan Kiernan and Max Kretzschmar’s efforts wide.
Just when another Hampton goal looked imminent the Stones responded as Danny Green’s deep corner missed everyone bar Eisa who was lurking unmarked at the far post and nodded in.
Hampton almost regained the lead before half time when Shannon Baptiste turned Eddie Oshodi and Green, leaving him with plenty of the goal to aim at. His effort beat North but Olomowewe was there to prevent a threatening goalscoring opportunity.
The second half was a far more even affair, although Hampton did hit the woodwork three times, with Kiernan striking it twice in the space of two minutes; his low effort beat North and came off the outside of the post and then his cross ricocheted off of Ryan Sellers and off the crossbar.
North made another smart save to deny Kretzschmar before sub Harry Crawford hit the post.
Stones always looked dangerous on the break and Ben Wynter prevented Eisa scoring a second with a well-timed block, after David Pratt found him with a low cross, and then Harry Goodger headed over in the final minute as the spoils were shared.
There were pleasant scenes at the end when Ciaron Brown applauded and shook hands with the travelling fans in what appears to be his last game in a Stones shirt.
Stones and Hampton will do it all again on New Year’s Day in the reverse fixture at Grosvenor Vale.
Wealdstone: North, Oshodi, Sellers, Olomowewe, Brown, Cox, Ngamvoulou, Okimo, Pratt, Green, Eisa. Subs: Goodger, Wellard, Day, Wilson, Fitchett.