Wealdstone won their 4th game in succession and remain unbeaten as they annihilated a struggling Cray Wanderers side at The Vale on Saturday. Stones dominated this one-sided but highly entertaining match from start to finish as, remarkably, seven different players found the net.
The main change to the Stones line up was new signing Josh Hill who slotted in at centre half replacing the injured Jerome Okimo, whilst Wes Parker remains side lined with a groin injury. Glen Little started.
Hill looks a strong acquisition and the dual signed Welshman started with a calm demeanour and a decent range of passing. Sadly Hill’s match was later curtailed with a head injury that required a precautionary hospital visit by ambulance.
The home side started slowly and Stones ‘keeper Jonathan North had to be alert to keep a John Estrada effort out early on. But Wealdstone soon got into their stride with midfield ace Glen Little pulling the strings in the midfield using his full range of incisive passing to the veteran front pairing of Scott McGleish and man of the match Chris Moore, whilst Tom Pett also took full advantage, quickly reading the big man’s attacking give and go approach.
Stones took the lead on 12 minutes when Moore was clattered in the area and Sean Cronin emphatically blasted home the spot kick. The lead was doubled on the half hour mark when leading scorer Moore powered home a header from a vicious cross shot from James Hammond that had looked destined for the corner flag.
Little started and finished a wonderful move that involved Pett and McGleish but the majestic midfielder was unceremoniously brought down in the box. Referee Bayliss looked to wave away appeals but his assistant steadfastly flagged for the foul and his decision was changed. McGleish scored from the re-bound when his penalty kick was pushed out by the increasingly beleaguered but experienced Cray ‘Keeper Andy Walker.
Wealdstone unnecessarily wobbled a bit as they overplayed the ball and show boated, and to their credit the Wands hit back with a goal on the break from James Frey. North then prevented further embarrassment soon after with a smart save to retain the differential.
But it wasn’t long before normal service was resumed when Elliott Godrey smashed home a lovely strike from an astute Moore ball just on the stroke of half time to kill the game off as a contest.
Play was disrupted in the second period as substitutions and a nasty looking head injury to debutant centre half Josh Hill held up proceedings but Stones gradually re-asserted their total dominance over the game.
As play became increasingly open, The Wands still retained some threat and Ben Davisson’s strike moved viciously in the air to almost catch North out but he held well. Wealdstone hit back and Pett’s great strike then smashed off Walker’s upright.
Sub Reece Grant had been on the park for 90 seconds when he netted Stones 5th at the third attempt after a goal mouth scramble but that was before some astonishingly missed sitters from McGleish and then the 18 year old Grant.
Stones added two more in the 6 minutes of added time. First, a superbly taken free kick from the ever improving Stefan Bailey found the net and then sub Jack Hutchinson scored his first goal for Stones when he hit one on the fly from a great Jey Siva ball after Pett had again been involved, to wrap up the scoring.
There was still time for late drama when the Wanderers Danny Young was sent off with a second yellow after a clumsy foul on the livewire Grant in the final seconds.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Siva, Hill, Cronin, Godfrey, Little, Bailey, McGleish, Moore, Pett. Subs used: McCubbin, Grant, Hutchinson. N/u: Dean, Martin.
MoM: Chris Moore
Match Report by Nick DuGard