There is no doubting that Wealdstone reached a new low at The Aspect Arena on Saturday (13th Sep). It would not be defeatist to say that this result was in all probability totally predictable because it is now very clear that significant change to the squad is required but this cannot happen overnight. There is absolutely no point in wholesale change in panic mode because this will achieve nothing and make an already crisis situation potentially irretrievable.
Stones fans will not need reminding that their team have now completed nine games without a single victory, having drawn four.
Stones hugely experienced Manager Gordon Bartlett knows what is required and it will take time to bring in players of a superior quality – but he will also know that whilst time is pressing the right decisions have to be made. And made they have to be, but the biggest issue now is loss of confidence plainly evident again on Saturday after Stones conceded having taken the lead through a Scott McGleish strike. There is a palpable crisis of confidence within the squad, not a lack of effort or determination of wanting to win.
What made Saturday’s defeat all the more difficult to swallow was that Concord’s ‘keeper was taken off injured early on and was replaced by an outfield player with no substitute keeper available from the bench. James Hammond was recalled to replace an unwell Tom Hamblin and Wes Parker was otherwise engaged. Some changes had been made prior to this match with striker Tom Collins released and Toby Little returning to Chesham on dual registration.
The Stones took the lead against the run of play with Scott McGleish capitalising on a defensive error before hitting a speculative strike that beat home keeper Jamie Butler. Butler then had to depart with a head injury and centre half Jack Lampe replaced him between the sticks.
But the Beachboys levelled with a point-blank header from before Steve Cawley took easy advantage of a poor clearance from keeper Jonathan North to score with a low shot which put them 2-1 up at the interval.
Concord totally regained full control after the restart and effectively put the game to bed when Gary Ogilvie reacted well to a rebound and placed the ball inside the far right corner to make it 3-1.
Lewis Taaffe added a late fourth when he raced away from the visitors central defenders before deftly chipping the on-rushing North. Stones added an injury-time consolation when Luke Pigden lofted the ball past Lampe but this was another lamentable performance from the men from The Vale leaving them sadly rooted to the bottom of the Vanarama South table.
Calls for change will inevitably ratchet up but the nature and extent of that of change remains to be seen. Stones face another mountain to climb away at Whitehawk on Tuesday.
Wealdstone starting line up: North, Mills, Bihmoutine, Hammond, Cronin, Godfrey, O’Nien, Martin, McGleish, Hickey, Pigden. Subs: Malcolm, Turner, Wright, Ahamed, Bola.