Last Gasp Coombes Steals Points For Moles

by Andrew Finch

Molesey 2-1 Wembley

A serious injury to Luke Elliott marred a stoppage time win for Molesey over Wembley at Walton Road.

Elliott went down in innocuous circumstances after blocking a cross from Ian Bates, and the long-serving Wembley player/manager emerged from the incident with enormous credit after staying on to comfort Elliott immediately after the challenge and whilst he was being treated;  particularly generous given that a mistimed opening minute challenge by Elliot had left him in a heap.

Having picked up just two points when in losing positions this season, boss Steve Webb will be delighted that his side came from behind to pick up maximum points – the first time that feat has been achieved in nearly a year – although they left it incredibly late to do so, with the clock being just three minutes shy of 5pm when Dan Coombes popped up to place a header beyond Michael Lavender

A debut was given to former Horley and Banstead winger Shane Sinclair, replacing James McShane who missed out due to a family bereavement, whilst Joe Yeates and Moses Spencer returned having missed the midweek defeat to Epsom & Ewell.

The Moles were sluggish out the traps, and despite Sinclair supplying several useful crosses they seemed to miss the guile and ingenuity of McShane.  Arnold Tawonezvi wasted an early opening after a poor backpass by Kristien Hall, and shortly afterwards Wembley took the lead, when the first of several hopeful through balls caught the Moles back four square, Paul Shelton finishing neatly beyond Wester Young to give the away side a 23rd minute lead.

Sam Lampard came close to a breathtaking equaliser five minutes later, knocking the ball over the head of a defender but seeing his dipping volley land just the wrong side of the post before Lavender did exceptionally well to tip a header from Tawonezvi over the bar on 40 minutes, however from the resulting corner the Moles got back on level terms.

Lewis Ackerman had taken over corner duties from McShane and had already supplied several useful deliveries, the most recent of which landed on the head of Spencer.  His glancing header hit the crossbar and was only half-cleared before being pumped back into the danger area.  Spencer came back from an offside position, confusing the visitors, and Coombes popped up from deep to square for Ackerman, giving him a tap in for his fifth goal of the season.

Yeates curled a free kick just wide shortly afterwards as the Moles finished the half the stronger.

The visitors nearly retook the lead after an hour during a prolonged goalmouth scramble on the hour, with both Shelton and David Reading seeing chances blocked, and two minutes later the Moles back four were once again caught square, presenting another 1-1 to Shelton but his effort crept past the post, Young making a terrific save from the same player shortly afterwards.

Elliott’s injury held play up for ten minutes or so, and his replacement, Farid Ebrahim-Zadeh made an immediate impression, driving his way into the box before seemingly being upended, the ref waving away the penalty appeals.

Paul Gough, Andy Graves and substitute Mickey Hughes all picked up bookings as the game turned scrappy and seemed likely to peter out into a draw, before a late Molesey corner was only half-cleared and hoisted back into the danger area by Lampard.  With the visitors once again appealing for a flag Coombes headed home to give his side a late and slightly fortuitous win.

The fixtures continue to come thick and fast for the Moles following the raft of postponements either side of new year, with lowly Colliers Wood next up at Walton Road on Tuesday.


Line up:  Wester Young, Andy Graves, Luke Elliott (Farid Ebrahim-Zadeh 70), Joe Yeates [C], Moses Spencer, Dan Coombes, Sam Lampard, Paul Gough (Mickey Hughes 68), Arnold Tawonezvi, Lewis Ackerman (Gareth Witter 84), Shane Sinclair.  Subs (not used) Damion Parris, Billy Pamment