Last-gasp penalty ends Stones’ promotion dream

Wealdstone ended the match with nine men – and with their promotion hopes in tatters – after a last-minute penalty gave Lowestoft Town a 2-1 victory in the Ryman Premier play-off semi-final.

Ill discipline from Gordon Bartlett’s players proved to be their undoing as an exciting season finished in disappointing fashion.

There was little between the teams in the opening exchanges but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, when top scorer Chris Henderson netted after the Stones failed to clear their lines.

The visitors upped their game after the interval and levelled midway through the second half when Scott Fitzgerald scored from Tom Pett’s cross.

With Pett and Richard Jolly threatening to put the Ruislip-based side in front, Stones midfielder Chris O’Leary picked up his second booking of the match and was sent off with 10 minutes to go.

A minute later Wealdstone were left another man short when Sean Cronin received a straight red card for a foul on Dean Sinclair.

It was all too much for Stones coach Mark Gill, who also received his marching orders in the fracas that followed.

Despite seven minutes of injury time being added by the referee, it looked as if the Stones would force extra-time until they conceded a penalty right at the death.

Sinclair converted the spot-kick to win the one-legged tie and end Wealdstone’s dream of playing in the Conference South next season.


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