Wealdstone put in a hugely disciplined and effective performance at Kingsmeadow on Monday night and gained a narrow but priceless victory that was enough to move them into second place in the table, displacing their opponents in the process.
Scott McGleish, with another tireless performance, grabbed the goal that made the headlines, but this was a superlative all round team effort from Stones who are demonstrably laying down the gauntlet to their promotion rivals.
Glen Little replaced Mark Bentley as the only change from Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 home draw with Metropolitan Police with the big man patrolling the midfield after a difficult start when Stones were able to gain little possession.
However, the warning signs were there for Kingstonian when McGleish charged down a clearance from hesitant keeper Rob Tolfrey after 10 minutes but he was just about able to block a second stab towards goal and clear to safety.
The dangerous Andre McCollin saw an excellent shot held by Jonathan North before Stones threatened again through Tom Pett’s turn and cross which neither Wright nor McGleish could seize upon.
But it was third time lucky for the persistent McGleish on 20 minutes.
A great tackle from the ever improving Luke Pigden began the move before Pett slid the ball into the path of McGleish who took a clever touch away from the defender before firing a low shot beyond Tolfrey.
As the mist descended the veteran striker should have doubled his tally when Aaron Goode’s careless pass found him in on goal but he lashed a first-time effort well off target.
Another chance went begging for the visitors early in the second half when Little released Johnny Wright whose first time ball gave Pett a decent opportunity but he fired wide.
For a while it looked like a costly miss as Kingstonian enjoyed their best spell of the game coming within a whisker of a leveller.
Goode’s excellent measured pass found McCollin in space outside the box and although he slipped the ball beyond North his effort somehow finished up the wrong side of the far post.
Jerome Okimo then did brilliantly to steal the ball off McCollin’s toe and when Stones cleared the corner a period of intense pressure from the increasingly concerned home side eased a little.
Wealdstone had chances the kill the game off, McGleish incredibly heading wide when completely unmarked 10 yards out from a superb Little cross just beyond the hour mark.
A far better better chance arrived 12 minutes later when McGleish was adjudged to have been tripped by Tolfrey, but reliable spot kicker Sean Cronin saw his effort pushed aside by a relieved stopper
With tension mounting, especially during five minutes of added time, a last-gasp goalmouth scramble was survived as Stones claimed three massive points.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Okimo, Hamblin, Cronin, Godfrey, Little, Pigden, McGleish, Wright, Pett. Subs: Dean, Moore, Siva, Bailey, Bentley.
Attendance: 491 (Wealdstone 150)
Match Report by Nick DuGard