Wealdstone’s eleven match unbeaten run came to a crashing end on Saturday at The Vale when they paid the inevitable price for a woeful first 20 minutes when they conceded three goals, two of them penalties. In a virtual repeat of their lamentable start against Hemel Hempstead in their abandoned midweek game, Stones failed to get to grips with a lively attack from the start.
And despite a far better second period when a rejuvenated home side finally got the bit between their teeth, the three goal deficit and poor finishing proved to be far too much to salvage anything from the game
The Seagulls dominated from the first whistle and took the lead after only 10 minutesplay. The lively Joe McClennan crossed to the far post where the waiting Oliver Watkins fired home. And only 7 minutes later Stones deficit was doubled. Luke O’Nien was harshly adjudged to have handled whilst prone on the ground; the penalty, taken by the excellent Tristan Plummer, struck the post but Stones bad luck on the day was compounded with the ball falling nicely for the back from suspensionDayle Grubb who rifled home the rebound.
Worst was to came for a shell shocked Stones. Another penalty was awarded on 20 minutes and this time Grubb made no mistake from the spot sending the beleaguered Jon North the wrong way. It could have got worse for the home side as Plummer and McClennan continually pulled the home side apart down the flanks but Stones defence held out to half time as they gradually recovered some composure.
A subdued Richard Jolly should have grabbed what looked like a certain goal before the break but Luke Purnell somehow pulled off an outstanding save.
The home crowd knew then that this was not going to be a good day at the office for Wealdstone.
The second half was an entirely different affair with Wealdstone dominating and attacking relentlessly down the slope with subs Jonny Wright and loanee Nathan Mavila featuring strongly. Stones spirits were soon lifted when they pulled a goal back when Wright was hauled down in the area, Sean Cronin netted the penalty withtypical aplomb and it was game on.
But despite several near misses and some excellent possession the Stones could not find a second goal to put real pressure on the Seagulls who were now content to sit back and defend their lead. Richard Jolly spurned at least three decent opportunities as the clock ran down on a hugely frustrating afternoon for Stones all over the park.
There was still time for Seagulls sub Kane Ingram to be sent off needlessly for a second yellow but it had little effect on the outcome.
Wealdstone: North, Martin, Watts, Parker, Cronin, Corcoran (Lucien 74), Ball (Mavila 45), Davies, McGliesh (Wright, 45) Jolly, O’Nien. Subs not used: Godfrey, Hamblin.
William Hill MoM: Luke O’Nien