FA Trophy: Concord Rangers 2 Wealdstone 3
PUBLISHED: 18:09 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:07 25 November 2018
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Wealdstone are through to the first round of the FA Trophy after beating Concord Rangers at Thames Road.
Stones were dominating the tie for the most part but had to fight off a late comeback from the home side to reach the next stage.
Three changes were made to the Wealdstone side that lost 3-1 at Chippenham Town as new signing Christian Smith made his debut, reducing Simon Mensah to the bench. Bradley Hudson-Odoi came in for Bradley Bubb while Fumnaya Shomotun earned a start, leaving Joe Payne out.
There were early signs of the importance placed on team organisation and shape, with Stones captain Jerome Okimo commanding from left back.
Glenn Wilson sat in the heart of defence and was first to everything and Stones looked confident too.
Shomotun weaved across the final third, peering for an opening after skipping past Concord captain Lee Minshull, who was later booked, but found nothing.
After 14 minutes, Wealdstone took the lead with a finely executed goal as Hudson Odoi picked up the ball on the left side and curled a cross to the near post in the aftermath of a corner, finding Okimo who glanced it in.
Concord responded positively, though, increasing the pressure but only shooting from range.
Wilson took a powerful effort to the stomach from Concord’s Danny Green but stood strong, as did Connor Stevens. But the hosts pressed and Liam Nash forced Jonathan North into a save down to his right, as Wealdstone looked extremely quick on the counter.
Stones’ attacking assets struck again on 23 minutes, with Shomotun making it 2-0, as he drifted in and out, using Rhys Tyler as a distraction on the overlap, before cutting inside and curling a wonderful effort into the top left corner.
Defensively Stones were resolute, their passing and movement was rapid, and their game-plan was executed in good fashion.
Concord’s last efforts of the half saw Nash putting a tame header wide but they made a well needed substitution at half time as Green was replaced by Sean Clohessy.
The majority of their efforts came through Nash on the left, as he skipped past Tyler with quick footwork but couldn’t find a successful cross.
Shomotun’s nimble footwork led him across the edge of the box, eyeing up a shot that was blocked, while Hudson-Odoi picked up the loose ball but didn’t have the awareness to make amends from a tight position.
As much as Concord tried to respond to a dreadful first half, they seemed to struggle and Stones went 3-0 up when Tyler found space down the right and, after appearing to have lost it, Shomotun picked it up and floated a cross to the back post for Stones’ Danny Green to nod in on 63 minutes.
Perhaps it was the complacency that allowed Concord a way back into the tie as within six minutes of conceding a third goal, it was suddenly 3-2.
Nash smashed a ball low into the mix of players and Minshull stabbed it in before Alex Wall took the ball down on the left side and whacked a rising effort into the top right corner, leaving North static.
Wealdstone had taken their foot off the gas and stooped to cruise control, with Concord’s supporters urging their team to complete the comeback.
And they very nearly did on 83 minutes when Clohessy’s free kick was hooked just over by Wall.
The final moments produced end-to-end stuff as Shomotun danced forward and raced to the byline but his vicious effort was stopped by Frazer Shaw, while David Pratt scrambled a header clear in a dramatic finish, as Wealdstone ensured their place in the hat for the draw.
Wealdstone: North, Tyler, Okimo, Stevens, Wilson, Poku, Shomotun, Smith (Mensah 89), Pratt, Green (Charles 83), Hudson-Odoi. Unused subs: Bubb, Monakana, Payne.