National League South: Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
PUBLISHED: 19:50 05 January 2019
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Wealdstone left it late against Dartford but secured a draw at Grosvenor Vale.
Substitute Eion McKeown scored in the 92nd minute to cancel out Elliot Bradbrook’s opener.
The game began quiet as Reece Mitchell started out on the left channel for Wealdstone; he asked a lot of questions of Dartford’s Jordan Wynter early on.
It was clear Bobby Wilkinson wanted the Stones to press from the front, encouraging workhorse David Pratt to do just that.
However, the game lack clear cut chances in the first quarter with a lack of creativity by either side.
Suddenly, Wealdstone sprang into life. In the 31st minute, some great individual work from Danny Green on the edge of the box saw his shot rattle the near post.
It only took two minutes for the Stones to hit the woodwork again, Ramarni Medford-Smith latched onto Jeffrey Monakana’s low cross but he smacked the crossbar.
The Stones kept attacking through the wings as the referee blew for half-time. Wealdstone finished the half well but they couldn’t find a scoring touch in the first half.
Wealdstone began the second half similarly to how they ended the first, attacking down the wings courtesy of Monakana and Mitchell.
Good solo work from Wealdstone’s Simon Mensah on the edge of the box won the Stones a dangerous free kick in the 63rd minute – Green struck the set piece just wide of the post.
Danny Green was creating everything for the Stones, he played a dangerous ball across the face of goal in the 69th minute trying to pick out Pratt but the striker couldn’t guide the ball towards goal.
Dartford got a corner completely against the run of play in the 71st minute which was well won by speedster Andre Coker.
The corner was whipped in from the right by Ben Greenhalgh deep towards the back post as Bradbrook rose highest and headed into the net.
Wealdstone needed to keep their heads up and keep persisting if they wanted to get back into the game.
The Stones hadn’t scored at home since November but they were knocking on the door all game.
Only five minutes after Dartford broke the deadlock Wealdstone had somehow hit the post again as Mensah’s low cross cannoned off a Dartford player onto the post.
Ogo Obi and Eion McKeown came off the bench for the home side to inject some pace into the front line and the two youngsters linked up a minute after McKeown came off the bench.
McKeown chased after a loose ball on the left hand side and played the ball to Obi who made space to shoot and hit the crossbar.
It seemed like the Stones would go another game at The Vale without scoring, the ball just was not going past the white line.
Wealdstone kept battling searching for a goal and the ball finally fell to McKeown who curled a controlled finish first time across Darts ‘keeper Bailey Vose into the back of the net.
Finally the goal drought at home was over for Wealdstone and they deserved nothing less than a point.
The Stones have started 2019 excellently with two top quality performances against Slough Town and Dartford.
Wilkinson will be happy to see a return to form since the turn of the year and will begin building momentum to finish the season strongly.