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Match Reports

Latics 1-2 Wealdstone

16 August 2022

© Eddie Garvey

Ben Tollitt’s second strike in as many games wasn’t enough to get Latics back on terms after an early two-goal salvo from the visitors at Boundary Park.

Early first-half efforts from Rhys Browne and Tarryn Allarakhia put Wealdstone 2-0 up inside 20 minutes and they never relinquished the advantage to inflict Latics’ first defeat of the season.

Tollitt scored off the underside of the crossbar early in the second half before substitute Mike Fondop had a goal ruled out, but the visitors held on to take the points.

Dan Gardner returned to the side which prevailed over Dorking last time out, with Luke Burgess dropping to the bench.

But despite an early chance when Hallam Hope tested Wealdstone keeper Sam Howes with a low drive, the hosts found themselves contending with an early deficit after 10 minutes. 

A deep ball to the back post was headed back across and Browne finished smartly on the volley to leave Magnus Norman with no chance.

Wealdstone doubled the advantage seven minutes later with another close-range finish as Allarakhia turned home at the near post.

Another low effort from Allarakhia was inches away from making it 3-0, only to carry inches past the far post with the aid of a slight deflection.

Tollitt had Latics’ only other chance of the first half, deftly lifting the ball over a defender’s head and getting away a shot which Howes blocked down low.

But the midfielder went one better just three minutes after the restart to get his side back into the contest.

A free-kick from the left pinged around the box before finding the feet of Tollitt, who took a touch to evade a defender before crashing a shot off the underside of the bar and in.

It was exactly the start to the second half Latics were looking for.

Tollitt drove wide from distance and Hope hooked a shot at Howes either side of Fondop’s introduction off the bench in place of Chris Porter.

But the momentum didn’t carry forward, although Fondop thought he’d equalised with 18 minutes left when he turned in Hope’s knock back from almost on the line only to be flagged offside.

Wealdstone resisted a late flurry to close the game out successfully, with opportunities few and far between barring a last-gasp flying header just wide from substitute Junior Luamba from Dan Gardner’s diagonal delivery.

Latics: Norman, Clarke, Francis-Angol, Hogan (C), Sheron, Gardner, Cooper (Burgess, 67), Tollitt, Hope, Stobbs (Luamba, 90), Porter (Fondop, 56).

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, McGahey.

Wealdstone: Howes, Cook (C), Charles, Elerewe, Barrett, Allarakhia (Mundle-Smith, 82), Ferguson, Browne, Hutchinson (Sesay, 83), Kretzschmar, Habergham.

Subs Not Used: Dyer, Napa, Mongoy.

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