Wealdstone still need win to seal home tie in play-offs
PUBLISHED: 07:29 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 07:29 24 April 2013
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Wealdstone must win their final game to guarantee themselves a home tie in the play-offs after Tuesday’s gritty 0-0 draw with promotion rivals Lowestoft Town.
Stones’ chances of claiming the runners-up spot now look remote, with Lowestoft needing to win just one of their last two games to secure that berth.
But Gordon Bartlett’s side can make certain of a home semi-final tie next week – almost certainly against Concord Rangers – if they beat Canvey Island at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday.
The main talking point of Tuesday’s clash was a horrendous challenge on Tom Pett by Lowestoft’s Adam Smith, which incredibly went unpunished by referee Lee Venamore and forced the Stones midfielder out of the game.
Stones’ only real opportunity of the first half came on 10 minutes when Pett pounced on a defensive error, but his drive was beaten away at the near post by Andrew Plummer.
That was to be the midfielder’s last contribution of the night as he hobbled off following Smith’s ugly challenge a few minutes later.
Pett’s replacement, Peter Dean, ballooned a chance over from James Hammond’s cross, but the visitors began to squeeze Wealdstone as the first half wore on and went close when Smith’s left-foot drive whizzed just wide.
Lowestoft were on top at the start of second half, with Chris Henderson and Andrew Fisk both testing Rikki Banks, who also did well to tip Michael Frew’s header behind.
Stones came back into the contest, with Scott McCubbin’s pinpoint crosses their most likely source of a goal, and one of those found Chris Moore, whose header looped just over.
The home side brought on Richard Jolly in the hope of snatching a winner, but his only opportunity came 13 minutes from time when he headed Sean Cronin’s cross over the bar.
Hendon’s outside chances of a play-off place were finally extinguished on Tuesday as they went down 2-1 at Metropolitan Police.
Howard Newton drilled home a 20-yard finish in the 33rd minute and Charlie Collins doubled the Police’s lead with a near-post header seven minutes later.
Kambo Smith headed in a consolation goal for the Greens – his first for the club – in added time.
Lower down the table, Harrow Borough are still not safe from relegation after they were beaten 2-0 at East Thurrock United.
Sam Higgins netted both goals for the Rocks to leave Borough in danger of the drop with two games to play.
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