A tremendous all round battling performance from Wealdstone played out in horrendous storm conditions at The Vale on Saturday secured all the points. Match Referee Mr C. Green, who had an excellent game throughout was forced to temporarily suspend play for 10 minutes in the second half due to lightening but was able to bring the players back out after the worst of the maelstrom subsided.
Stones have had to endure five postponements since the turn of the year and had not kicked a ball in anger since 11th January but they took control from kick off and piled on the pressure in front of a vociferous 707 crowd. Scott
McGleish got the vital breakthrough after 6 minutes, finding the net from an acute angle after new striker Michael Malcolm’s initial strike could only be parried by Blues ‘keeper Marcus Garnham.
Garnham brought off a series of brilliant saves to keep the away side in contention in the early stages.
Some lovely play by Tom Pett continued to keep Garnham busy and then McGleish broke clean through the centre only for the Bury stopper to block the veteran striker’s effort when a goal looked certain.
Bury looked dangerous on the break but the home defence coped well with Jerome Okimo outstanding on the left, but when their striker Dan Cunningham limped off they were further handicapped and their attacks lacked a cutting edge.
In truth Stones should have been at least 3 up at the break but Garnham was in outstanding form.
With conditions rapidly deteriorating in the second period Wealdstone finally doubled their advantage on 57 minutes when, from a free kick, the lively Malcolm flicked a header past Garnham who got a hand to the ball but not enough to prevent the goal. Glen Little almost created a third when he turned brilliantly in the box but Tom Pett couldn’t get enough power on his header. Stones remained comfortably in control chasing and closing down everything that Bury offered in the midfield and attack.
After the officials temporarily called time on play as the heavens opened in a gale force wind, Stones continued to dig in and pressed forward mastering the appalling conditions far better than Town. After attempts on goal by McGleish and substitute Johnny Wright the points were sealed on 84 minutes when Pett wriggled free and his wonder cross presented a gift of a header for McGleish who took his time to power home his second of the afternoon.
Stones looked far from ring rusty after their long lay-off and will be delighted with this performance but know they must maintain the momentum as their rivals picked up maximum points – weather permitting!
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Okimo, Hamblin, Cronin ©, Godfrey,Little, Pigden, McGleish, Malcolm, Pett. Subs used: McCubbin, Bentley, Wright. N/u: McCluskey, Siva.
William Hill MoM: Elliott Godfrey
Match Report by Nick DuGard