Oct 9 2012 By Jon Batham
RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION Wealdstone 5 Kingstonian 2
WEALDSTONE went top of the Ryman Premier League for 24 hours at least after Peter Dean inspired the mother of all comebacks at The Vale last night.
Stones looked dead and buried at 2-0 down to Kingstonian after 19 minutes – in truth it could have been four – but Dean scored one, made another and tormented the centre-back pairing of Gary McDonald and Kieran Murphy as the hosts produced a five-goal salvo to storm to victory.
There were other heroes in the fight-back. Lee Chappell (pictured), wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Wes Parker was immense, while Alex Dyer dictated matters in midfield along with the colossus that is Chris O’Leary who won every header and every tackle in a massive show of strength.
Rikki Banks too saved a late penalty, but there were two blots on the landscape as leading scorer Richard Jolly limped off with an ankle injury and Scott McCubbin was sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time.
The hosts made a horror story start, falling behind after just three minutes. Two defensive errors – a missed tackle on the edge of the box and then a mishit clearance by Tom Pett allowed Andre McCollin a clear sight of goal and the Ks danger-man made no mistake.
Only a brilliant challenge from Chappell prevented a second, but it only delayed the inevitable as on 19 minutes a corner from the right saw Gary McDonald rise unchallenged to head home.
The score provoked shouts of ‘We are top of the league’ from the Ks faithful behind the goal at the Turret End, but these stuck in the throat as Stones hit back immediately.
McCubbin charged down the right and crossed for Dean and though Ks keeper Rob Tolfrey kept the header out the predatory Richard Jolly pounced to bundle the ball over the line.
Alex Dyer then hit the far post direct from a left-wing corner, but his next effort in a breathless game would pull his side level on 34 minutes.
Aaron Goode was booked for handball 25 yards out just left of the D and former Northampton Town man Dyer extracted the full penalty from the resulting free-kick with a curler over the wall into the top left-hand corner.
Stones were in the ascendancy but Ks were still dangerous and Wade Small was a whisker away from restoring the lead with a shot from the edge six minutes from the break.
However, the turnaround was completed on 44 minutes when Chappell’s mishit shot fell kindly for Dean who swivelled before curling beyond Tolfrey into the bottom corner. The mishit was lucky but there was no arguing with the quality of Dean’s finish.
Stones opened brightly after the restart with another lung bursting run down the left from Chappell, but Pett could not get enough on the cross and the ball was scrambled clear.
However, substitute Dean Lodge went perilously close for the visitors from a free-kick which saw McCubbin collect his first booking of the night.
Stones defending the slope needed a fourth and inspiration from Chappell provided it on 56 minutes as he swung in a devilish cross from the right and Pett got the faintest of headers to send the ball into the far corner.
There was almost a fifth from Dean after a barnstorming run from McCubbin, but Tolfrey’s fingertips clawed the ball over the top.
It was the cue for Richard Jolly to leave the action on the hour to be replaced by Polish striker Jacek Magdzinski – scorer of five goals for the reserves in the Capital League last week.
Massey’s last-ditch tackle stopped McCollin reducing the arrears, before Magdzinski had an early chance to make a name for himself, but fluffed his lines with a mishit over the top.
His next effort was much better – a cracking strike into the side-netting, but at the other end Banks produced an athletic save to deny McCollin once more.
Nathan Webb replaced Pett with eight minutes left and he crowned a cameo with a stunning fifth, skipping past several tired tackles and planting his shot home from an acute angle.
There was still time for a penalty for Ks given for a Chris O’Leary handball, but Stones were flying so high at this point it was no surprise when Banks beat out Lodge’s effort .
Even then the drama wasn’t over as McCubbin was dismissed in stoppage-time for kicking the ball away, but even this could not dampen the spirits on a memorable night for Stones.