It was back to the old derby day demolition routine for Wealdstone at The Vale on Monday. Harrow Borough’s recent good form had suggested a tight, competitive match and the real possibility of the Reds finally getting one over on their local rivals, evidenced by a definite air of pre-match nervousness around the ground.
The Stones faithful in the vast majority of the 801 crowd need not have worried; as despite an early scare when Borough should have grabbed the lead, the home side went on to totally dominate with the second half turning into a literal stroll in the park for the boys in blue.
Borough’s Manager Dave Anderson would have been aghast at the way his side inexplicably appeared to wave the white flag in an horrendous second half. How Stones didn’t score at least 5 or 6 is almost as inexplicable as their opponent’s capitulation, their cause not helped by the dismissal – seemingly obligatory in these derby matches – of defender Adam Louth.
Stones were without in form centre half Tom Hamblin who sustained a head injury during Saturday’s tough draw with Hendon and in came Mark Bentley who performed well in an unaccustomed role.
Borough did start brightly, showing, as expected, some good movement and pace. And they almost snatched the lead on 5 minutes when Harold Odametey’s goal bound strike was cleared off the line brilliantly by Sean Cronin with Jon North well beaten. On such things games can turn and so it proved.
Wealdstone soon got into their stride and immediately began to look far more upbeat than Saturday’s dour performance. Elliott Godfrey shot high and wide from Jerome Okimo’s cross on 14 minutes.
A minute later and Stones took the lead. Borough seemed to stand and watch as Michael Malcolm stole in to head past James Shea from a fine Okimo cross into the box.
Harrow soon hit back and North has to be alert to block Simeon Akinola’s effort on the counter.
With space opening up all over the park the Reds were looking increasingly vulnerable defensively; Tom Pett smashed a shot against an upright on 18 minutes, then the same player forced a great save from James Shea with a dipping strike from 20 yards.
With the game becoming increasingly tetchy at the half time break it saw Borough still in with a decent chance to turn matters around.
But within two minutes of the restart Stones had doubled their lead with the softest of goals. Elliott Godfrey got his frame in the way of the ball and Boro’ keeper Shea somehow lost out allowing the ball to squirm past him and into the onion bag.
This rocked Harrow to the core and they simply never recovered from this rapid blow. Passes were now continually misplaced and their shape went completely awry.
Even so North did push a decent free kick out but that was it as far as attacking threat was concerned. Stones took the game over and went on the rampage with almost too much time and space to find the net.
A third goal did arrive on 67 minutes when Malcolm initially appeared to get a touch on Luke Pidgen’s cross come strike but the goal was later credited to the former Carshalton man.
Stones continued their incessant charge down the slope and Okimo did everything right until his shot struck the upright. The Reds had now lost discipline to extent that Louth was given his marching orders as Wealdstone saw out the remaining added time with considerable ease.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Okimo, Bentley, Cronin © , Godfrey, Bailey, Pigden, McGleish, Malcolm, Pett. Subs used: McCubbin, McCluskey, Little. N/u: Siva, Mason
William Hill MoM: Elliott Godfrey