Wealdstone 0 Lowestoft Town 0
With Andy Reynolds amongst those ruled out through injury Lowestoft Town gave a debut in goal to Jake Jessup.
He recently signed from Gt Yarmouth Town and the 18 year old produced a near faultless performance in the high pressure cauldron of Wealdstone in front of over 600 vociferous supporters.
The game got off to a thunderous start with stand in full back Adrian Forbes going into the referee’s note book inside the first minute for a fiercesome tackle on Danny Spendlove. That set the tone for the whole game played at a fast pace and with little quarter given by either side.
It was not until midway through the first half that either keeper was brought into real action with prolific scorer Richard Jolly getting through but young Jessup was out quickly to save at the feet of the striker.
Lowestoft then produced a period of pressure with Joe Francis’ header being deflected for a corner from which Sam Gaughran sent a header an inch over the bar. Jessup was then called into action with two more excellent saves inside a minute to deny firstly Jolly and then David Hicks.
The second half followed a similar pattern of end to end play with both sides having periods on top. Andrew Fisk’s low drive from 20 yards brought a fine diving save from Jonathan North. Stuart Ainsley then set Francis away down the left and although his cross deceived North the ball ran across the face of the crossbar to safety.
It was the Trawlerboys who continued to carve out the clearer openings with Ainsley’s determination winning the ball and taking a return pass from Nolan only to be foiled by North’s diving body. Francis and Nolan both saw goal bound efforts deflected wide off home defenders.
Although Wealdstone enjoyed their fair share of possession in the second half Jessup confidently collected cleanly the numerous high balls into the box despite being under pressure from the home attackers with Jolly going into the referee’s book for one over robust challenge on the young keeper. With the outstanding Sam Gaughran marshalling the defence the Blues never really looked in much danger of conceding despite the late onslaught.
One sight the Blues management didn’t want to see though was Joe Francis limping off at the end of the game.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell, Parker, Massey, Dyer, McCubbin, Hicks, Dean, Jolly, Spendlove, Subs (not used) Cronin, Brooks, O’Leary, Miller, Adjei.
Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Forbes, Smith, Ainsley, Halliday, Gaughran, Henderson (Sub Stock 87), Fisk, Nolan, Frew (Sub Forshaw 65), Francis, Subs (not used_ Cockrill, Marsden, Chick.