Staines Town 1 Wealdstone 2
Wealdstone avoided a massive Staines banana skin at Wheatsheaf lane on Saturday and were able to comfortably claim a valuable three points in their quest for league safety.
Stones dominated the first half on a perfectly playable surfacedespite heavy overnight rain. Wealdstone’s greater possession and attacking threat delivered up two goals in the first period from Micky Corcoran and away man of the match Luke O’Nien.
Although the home side fought back in a scrappier second period and won a penalty, Stones defence comfortably held out for the win and a huge boost following last week’ssurprisingly poor defeat at home to Weston super Mare.
Stones needed a decent start and with good forward play from Nathan Manvila and Jefferson Louis they soon started to threaten a fragile looking Swans back line. Manvila used his pace brilliantly on eight minutes when he crossed for Louis with only the keeper Jack Turner to beat but the glove man saved his ground strike.
Staines first shot of note came from the lively Joe Aribo who provided their only real striking threat in an untidy first period for the beleaguered home side who remain rooted to the bottom of the Vanarama Conference South table.
After a scrappy and disjointed period of play Stones finally took the lead on twenty seven minutes. A Stones corner found Sean Cronin whose header was cleared off the line but the ball fell invitingly to Corcoran who smashed home. Stones continued to dominate and win several corners and their possession and better hold up play was rewarded again one minute before the break.
Using his blistering pace Manvila broke free on the left and found Matt Ball whose teasing centre was flicked in expertlyby the advancing Luke O’Nien .
The second half was a largely disappointing affair with Stones allowing too much Swans pressure as the home side desperately tried to gain a foothold in the match. One of Stones best efforts came on sixty four minutes from a greatjinking midfield run by O’Nien but his effort was just wide of the post.
Referee Alan Young gave the home side a lifeline with sixteen minutes of play left when he awarded Swans a controversial penalty when Sean Cronin was adjudged to have handballed in the area. In truth it was difficult to see how the big defender could have got out of the way of the fierce strike but Elliot Buchanan duly accepted the gift and Staines finally had something to build on.
Stones defence held out with Tom Hamblin back to his best, repelling a constant aerial threat. But it was the away side that had the clearest chance to net again when late substitute Jonny Wright somehow missed the goal with a wayward header after fellow sub Scott McGleish had delivered up a perfect cross.
Despite increased pressure from the home side Stones heldout for a very welcome win ahead of a tricky looking rematch at Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday evening.
Wealdstone: North, Martin, Watts, Hamlin, Cronin,Corcoran, O’Nien, Ball, Louis, Davis, Manvila. Subs used: McGleish, Lucien, Wright,
Other subs Malone (GK), Hammond.
Attendance 418 (away 200)