Another match and another frankly humiliating defeat at home for struggling Wealdstone after the huge but deceptive lift of their first away victory at Whitehawk in midweek. Again this was a reverse made all the more difficult to accept as the visitors looked distinctly average feeding off some very generous Stones defending in front a 768 crowd, including the seemingly mandatory contingent of overtly gloating away supporters. Sadly Stones are making it all too easy for those that see them as ready-made relegation fodder.
Difficult times indeed with the prospect of more to come it seems unless positive change is effected that may also involve some increased risk taking – and with heightened urgency. After the match a frustrated and perplexed Gordon Bartlett said: ‘Once again mistakes have cost us dear and I don’t think 0-3 is a fair reflection. We look sorry for ourselves when things go wrong and our lack of confidence is a problem; today we haven’t shown the spirit and desire we showed in abundance at Whitehawk. I have to say that our supporters showed a great reaction at the end as I expected them to be more critical of the players’ He added: ‘If we bring in players they must be better than what we have, there is a lot of thinking to do over the next week and we face a very tough FA Cup tie next Saturday’
After a very lively start from the visitors when the dangerous but largely anonymous John Frendo shot wide from a good opportunity, Stones did gain more possession and tried hard to work the ball forward. Johnny Wright and the on loan Luke O’Nien were Stones most effective forwards with Scott McGleish finding life difficult and frustrating through the middle. Stones defended well enough for long periods with the returned Jimmy Hammond again catching the eye. Ryan Watts at left back made his debut after being signed from Met Police the day before.
But, ironically, after Stones had their best chance when O’Nien almost netted, the Saints grabbed the lead just prior to the break and a big psychological blow. The normally reliable Sean Cronin allowed Frendo far too much space to net from a narrow angle. After some decent early pressure from the home side in the second period, St Albans seized all the initiative after substitute Lee Clarke smashed past keeper Jonathan North when the ball pinged around the box and wasn’t cleared. Heads dropped alarmingly as the buoyant Saints wrapped up the game 8 minutes from time when Frendo scored his second from the penalty spot after another gift.
Stones had brought on all their subs in an effort to pull something from the game but it never really looked likely in front of a home crowd some whom had sadly started to leave the ground with 20 minutes remaining.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Watts, Hamblin, Cronin ©, Godfrey, Wright, Pigden, McGleish, Hickey, O’Nien, Subs used: Ahamed, Malcolm, Bola. N/u: Turner, Bihmoutine.