Wealdstone produced a purposeful and professional performance in deepest Essex on Tuesday evening and were rewarded with another hugely important three points in their intensifying battle to gain promotion this campaign.
The prospect of a long trip around a congested M25 against a strong, physical East Thurrock side on a cold, damp evening is unlikely to set the pulses racing but this Wealdstone side have shown time and again that they have both the appetite and the desire to slog it out and produce when it is most needed.
Goals from Peter Dean and skipper Wes Parker secured the win with both players in a rich vein of goal scoring form at present.
The vital away win – Stones fourth of the season – maintained the nine point gap from long term leaders Whitehawk who also won on the night, but, significantly Wealdstone opened up a six point advantage over third placed Canvey Island.
Stones started brightly and soon had the Rocks under pressure with Tom Pett wriggling free only to fire over. Lee Chappell was causing problems for the home rearguard and his well executed cross from the left found Peter Dean who could only head straight into the path of keeper Elliot Justham
Sean Cronin headed onto the woodwork from a corner as Stones looked to gain an early breakthrough but were frustrated when Richard Jolly’s ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside
But on 36 minutes, the away side’s pressure finally told when the in form Dean broke free and put a clean strike past Justham from 10 yards out.
Stones picked up where they left off after the break and continued to harry the Rocks defence at every opportunity. Just 5 minutes into the second half Parker doubled the away side’s lead as he turned smartly and fired in with his left foot from close range after good work from Chris O’Leary.
A great passing move saw Kurtney Brooks fire over as East Thurrock battled back to try to gain a foothold with some physical play but Stones solid defence held firm restricting their efforts to long range strikes that rarely troubled Rikki Banks
Stones withheld some late pressure from the home side but saw out the game with some comfort to record another vitally important win on the road.
Wealdstone: Banks, Alaile, Chappell, Parker, Cronin, Dyer, Brooks, O’Leary, Dean, Jolly, Pett. Sub used: James. Other subs: Webb, Moore, Godfrey, North(GK)
Attendance: 117 (Wealdstone 40)
Report by Nick DuGard
Well Wealdstone players fans and management give yourselves a huge pat on the back
Fourty or so fans watched the stones play their best football away from home this season
They chased , hassled and outplayed their opponents for most of the game
Peter Dean a superb shot from 10 yards when clean through
A Wes Parker turn and shot from close starting with his back to goal claimed the points
Can not remember East Thurrock having a shot in anger for the whole match our defence was great