A moment of brilliance from Alex Dyer helped Wealdstone to their first away victory since the beginning of November as they overcame old derby rivals Enfield Town on Saturday.
After a fairly uneventful first half, a brave header from Wes Parker saw Stones take the lead just after the restart before Tyler Campbell levelled for the hosts. Dyer made sure of the points for Wealdstone with fifteen minutes to play though, showing exquisite skill to beat two men on the edge of the box before finishing coolly into the far corner.
After Tuesday night’s disappointing defeat at Canvey Island, there were three changes in personnel for Stones as they looked to record their first league victory on the road since November 3rd. James Hammond, Chris O’Leary and Tom Pett were all on the bench, with Wes Parker, Leon Smith and Kurtney Brooks replacing them in the starting line up.
It was Brooks and the bustling loanee Smith who combined on seven minutes to create the first chance of the afternoon for the visitors, with Brooks picking out Smith with a great through ball, however he took too long to get his shot away giving Mark Kirby a chance to get back and clear.
The opening thirty minutes were proving to be a scrappy, tight affair, with chances at a premium for both sides. There were a number of hefty challenges coming in from Town, with both veteran Bryan Hammatt and Joe O’Brien finding their way into the referee’s book.
The home side registered their first effort on goal in the 27th minute, with O’Brien dragging a shot wide from 20 yards, before at the other end only a superb challenge from Lee White denied the pace of Smith as he bore down on goal.
Enfield had what looked like a good shout for a penalty turned down on 33 minutes, with Sean Cronin bundling David Kendall over in the box, however the referee waved play on much to the annoyance of the home following.
The best chance of the half fell to Stones two minutes before the break. Brooks found Michael Alaile on the right with the full back swinging over a great cross which Smith could only glance narrowly wide of the target.
There was one change at half time for Stones, with Tom Pett coming on in place of Esmond James.
After a disjointed looking first half, the second period got off to the best possible start for the visitors as they grabbed the lead.
Elliot Godfrey fired in a corner to the near post which was met by Wes Parker who powerfully headed home from inside the six yard box, much to the delight of the travelling fans packed behind the goal.
The lead lasted for just eight minutes though as Enfield pulled level. Adam Wallace for once got free of a resolute Stones defence and crashed a shot off the inside of the post from 20 yards, with Tyler Campbell being in the right place at the right time to bundle home the loose ball.
Stones looked for an immediate response, and they perhaps should have levelled on 67 minutes. Town ‘keeper Noel Imber fumbled when under pressure from Smith, with the loose ball falling to Pett and from a tight angle could only smash the outside of the post from close range.
Stones forward play now looked far more purposeful and with the Chappell/Pett combination working well, the home side were under far more pressure.
Wealdstone regained the lead with fifteen minutes to play with a touch of pure class from Alex Dyer. The former Northampton Town midfielder picked up the ball 20 yards from goal, skipping past two challenges before finishing left footed with unerring accuracy into the far corner.
The home side regained more possession towards the end of the game as they worked hard to salvage a point; their best chance coming in the last minute of normal time with Kendall hitting a lofted effort from the edge of the box which Banks had to be alert to palm over the bar.
There was a generous five minutes added on at the end of normal time, but Stones were able to hang on in a tense finish to record a morale boosting victory.
Speaking on Stones Clubcall after the match, Gordon Bartlett said: ‘It’s a nice feeling to get back to winning ways. We were not brilliant by any stretch but we changed the formation slightly in the second half and it worked much better. Our resolute defending in the first half gave us the platform and it was also pleasing that our first goal came from a set play that we had worked on in training’
Next up is a home encounter with Bury Town on Monday night, 7:45pm kick off.
Wealdstone: Banks, Alaile, Chappell, Parker (c), Cronin, Dyer (Webb 86), James (Pett 46), Godfrey, Moore (Dean 69), Smith, Pett. Subs not used: Hammond, O’Leary
Attendance: 506 (Wealdstone 170)