Wealdstone 3 St Albans City 0
FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round Replay
Wealdstone’s footballing rehabilitation continued in style on a bitterly cold and blustery evening at The Vale on Tuesday. Apart from a distinctly dodgy opening spell in this FA Trophy replay Stones delivered some excellent,expansive football and went on to totally dominate their bewildered opponents who had come so close to winning the tie at the first time of asking on Saturday.
Stones cause was aided by the sending off of Saints Steve Wales in the second half but, in truth, it wouldn’t have made any significant difference to the outcome of an entertaining match for the 324 crowd.
Shaun Lucien and Joe Turner supplied the width that continually pulled the away defence apart and both players were instrumental in this comprehensive win that also saw the return of Richard Jolly in an effective 10 minute cameo.
Wealdstone will now face rivals Hayes & Yeading at The Vale in two weeks time in the First Round Proper stage when a further £5,000 prize will be up for grabs.
Stones made an inauspicious start and conceded a corner within a minute of the first whistle. And when a header was cleared off the line a difficult night looked in prospect. Saints were quicker to the ball all over the park as Stones conceded possession too cheaply.
But Stones, playing a conventional 4-4-2, gradually started to work their way into the contest with Johnny Wright prominent up front with Scott McGleish. On 17 minutes, Elliot Godfrey was brought down outside the area and up stepped Shaun Lucien. The winger came to The Vale with a reputation as a free kick specialist and the he didn’t disappoint, netting with a superb, curlingdead ball kick that gave Joe Welch no chance.
The home side visibly grew in confidence and their forward play became far more cohesive with Lucien and Turner finding bags of space down the flanks. Wright should have doubled the lead on two occasions but was cruelly offside and he then blasted over when put clear.
Stones finally added a second with a wonderful flowing move started by a 70 yard Turner run and finished by a Daniel Brown header from a superb James Hammond cross.
Saints hit back and Elliot Bailey should have reduced the arrears as the half ended but shot well over.
After the turnaround Stones were playing into the wind and up the slope but the conditions didn’t affect them. It was all Wealdstone; Wright had a strike deflected over, then Turner rifled a shot wide of the upright. It was old fashioned wide wing play but it working a treat as Stones continued to dominate proceedings, even more so after Wales was sent packing with a straight red for a horrible challenge on Ryan Watts.
The third and killer goal arrived on 70 minutes when substitute Richard Jolly rolled the ball into McGleish who blasted in from close range.
Stones saw out the tie with ease and now progress to the next round. They entertain Staines Town on Saturday in a six pointer of a league match.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Watts, Parker, Hamblin, Godfrey, Lucien, Brown, McGleish, Wright, Turner. Subs used: Jolly, Hickey, O’Nien. Other subs: Ball, Martin.
William Hill MoM: Daniel Brown