Wem Town 3-2 Stone Old Alleynians

A new week, but it was a repeat dosage of injury-time heartbreak for the Old Boys, as they were denied by another late Wem goal.

This time though the punishment was more severe, as the hosts, fresh from their last gasp equaliser last Saturday snatched all three points.

Wem piled on the misery for the visitors, who had begun the game brightly, and led two-nil within the opening half hour, courtesy of two Luke Askey headers.

Luke Askey celebrates opening the scoring
Luke Askey celebrates opening the scoring

But the home side struck back just before the break, and then inflicted the sucker punch late on as both sides chased the win.

Stone went ahead when Danny Heard was brought down on the left wing, and from the resulting Adam Tomkinson free-kick Luke Askey glanced the ball into the far corner.

The lead was doubled in almost identical fashion, when Heard was again fouled on the left wing, and Askey met Tomkinson’s cross with a powerful diving header.

Alleynians could and probably should have been out of sight, as Cameron Sinclair and Carl Dibden wasted opportunities to extend the lead.

And they were made to pay for the misses as they were given a taste of their own medicine. A Wem left wing free-kick wasn’t cleared properly, and was bundled home from inside the six-yard box.

The hosts levelled just before the break. A long ball over the top led to indecision from Alleynians keeper Jake Ratcliffe, and Ian Whalley was left with no decision but to bring the advancing striker down. Wem captain Matt Cohen confidently dispatching the resulting penalty.

Midfielder Chris Heard forced to show off his goalkeeping skills
Midfielder Chris Heard forced to show off his goalkeeping skills

An injury to Ratcliffe forced Chris Heard to don the gloves for the second half, and the midfielder was called into action immediately, as he got down superbly to deny a Wem striker from point blank range.

Debutant Mohammed Hagi came close to putting Alleynians back in front, but his lob went narrowly wide of the target after he was put through.

Both sides wanted the win, and threw caution to the wind, sending a centre back apiece to play up front for the final ten minutes. And it looked like it had worked for the visitors when an acrobatic cross from Matt Thomas was turned home by Hagi, only to be incorrectly ruled out for offside.

Mohammed Hagi (left) shown here to be onside when Matt Thomas crosses
Mohammed Hagi (left) shown here to be onside when Matt Thomas crosses

But it was the hosts who ended up profiting from the gamble, as centre-back come striker Matt Cohen raced clear and finished from close range, much to the annoyance of Alleynians manager Matt Smith.

“That result has summed up our naivety.” Said Smith.

“At two-nil we are cruising, and we have wasted some glorious chances to kill the game off inside thirty minutes. But again we have missed them and been made to pay.”

“We haven’t learnt the lessons from last week, where we missed easy chances, then gave away soft free-kicks and were punished, and exactly the same thing has happened today.”

“If we really want to get promoted then these are the games that we need to win, and we have dropped six points from winning positions in the last two weeks, which makes next week’s tough game at Bromyard even tougher.” He added.

Stone OA: Ratcliffe (C Heard), Bigham, Askey, Whalley, Taylor, Sinclair, Griffiths (c), Hodgkinson, Tomkinson, Dibden (Thomas), D Heard (Hagi)

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