National League South: Chippenham 3 Wealdstone 1
PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 November 2018 | UPDATED: 19:00 17 November 2018
Wealdstone had a frustrating afternoon as they were beaten by a determined Chippenham side, despite a late attempt at a fightback.
Bobby Wilkinson made a single change from Tuesday night’s 1-0 win at Hemel Hempstead, with Simon Mensah replacing Jake Sheppard, who was on the bench as a precaution.
Wealdstone went with the same formation, looking to carry their form and more importantly the shape into this game, but Chippenham appeared to be on a mission from the very start.
Their front three of Natt Jarvis, Jack Compton and Karnell Chambers caused early problems for the Stones back three who, compared to Tuesday night, looked slightly more exposed as Chippenham played with a higher intensity early on.
Stones had a game-plan to play balls into the channels with the onrushing David Pratt and Bradley Bubb looking to chase, however Chippenham captain Curtis McDonald led their back line extremely well, limiting any space in which to operate.
The warning signs were there for Stones as Chambers broke free and fed Jarvis who lifted his shot over the bar just after nine minutes.
The next opportunity led to an almost inevitable breakthrough. Connor Stevens saved Stones by smashing the ball out for a corner, but the resulting cross led to a loose ball, with left back Kieran Parselle prodding home to give Chippenham a deserved lead.
Glenn Wilson got stuck in to Jarvis, sometimes too much, leading to a small confrontation, and Stones only managed to carve out two opportunities in the first half. Bubb smashed low at the keeper from a weighted pass by Godfrey Poku, and the striker hit a tame shot across goal after Danny Green found space. But overall, chances were scare for Stones.
Both sides struggled to get a hold on possession Chippenham were happy with their 1-0 lead at half time, with Stones feeling frustrated.
Fumnaya Shomotun and Elliot Charles came on just 10 minutes into the second half, with the only sight of goal falling for Wilson until that point, when his shot was blocked by McDonald.
Wealdstone ramped up the pressure and Charles managed to get a deflected shot away, however Chambers was such a threat on the counter attack.
Jeffrey Monakana entered the game and Stones were tirelessly hitting Chippenham with overlaps and crosses on 75 minutes, leading to Callum Gunner heading off the line from Charles, whose second attempt went over the bar.
Charles then had a fantastic chance to level the match, but flicked the ball over Brad House and over the bar. These missed chances were crucial.
Then, Josh Smiles had his magical moment, racing Monakana down the right on a counter attack and being pulled down in the area. He tucked away the resulting penalty for a 2-0 lead.
But Stones weren’t finished as Shomotun floated inside and played a cute pass into Charles who slammed into the roof of the net to raise hopes with two minutes to go.
Their joy was shortlived, though, as Green had a free kick with the hosts on the back foot, but a tackle led to the ravenous Chambers racing forward and using Jarvis as a decoy to slot home for the win.
Wilkinson said: “Very frustrating game, we deserved to lose. We have to stand up and be counted, it was a bad day at the office and we move on.
“I’m not happy with the manner today but the boys have been brilliant all season. We didn’t turn up from the start today. We will get back to the training park on Monday and not dwell on this because we have two big games coming up.”
Wealdstone: North, Tyler, Payne, Stevens, Okimo (C), Wilson (Shomotun, 53), Mensah (Monakana, 61), Poku, Bubb (Charles, 53), Green, Pratt SUBS UNUSED: Hudson-Odoi, Sheppard.