Havant & Waterlooville 3 Wealdstone 1
Wealdstone succumbed to a second successive defeat but can consider themselves hard done by as the softest of soft penalty awards in the second half at Westleigh Park on Saturdayeffectively killed off their challenge.
Stones had enjoyed a very competitive first period against a side vying for promotion from the Vanarama Conference South and had pulled level through Luke O’Nien . But once the Hawks had grabbed a controversial penalty after Brian Stock cleverly appeared to fall down from the slightest of close challenges from James Hammond it all went awry for Stones. A quick third goal from ex Stone Scott Donnelly sentthat the away side went into their shells and they couldn’t conjure up any further real threat to change the outcome of the contest.
As a result Wealdstone dropped to 14th in the Conference South table and must now rapidly look to get a result on Monday night versus Gosport Borough to turn their season back around to a decent finish after their great unbeaten run during January and February.
The first half saw some good football from Stones and they came back well after a fluke opener from Brian Dutton who directed a shot that was going well wide past the out of position Jon North after 20 minutes.
Jefferson Lewis used his strength to shrug off several challenges to square the ball across the box for O’Nien to tap hone for the leveller on 29 minutes. In fact the Watford loaneecould have netted minutes earlier when his long range strike tested home stopper Ryan Young.
Stones conceded the penalty after 54 minutes and it was sadly game over two minutes later as Donnelly lift the ball over North from a well timed run. Stones couldn’t find the impetus to hit back and the spoils went to the buoyant home side who move into the play off places
After the match Stones Manager Gordon Bartlett said: ‘Apenalty changed the game for the second week running. I thought we were the better team in the first half but I was bitterly disappointed at our lack of response after going behind. It’s the little things that make a big difference in a game and the penalty gave them a massive boost and lifted their energy levels. We now have the opportunity to bounce back quickly and to create an intense atmosphere at The Vale on Monday night’
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Watts, Parker, Martin, Godfrey, Ball, Corcoran (Brown 70), Louis (McGleish 78), Davies (Lucien 74), O’Nien. Subs not used: Mavila, Jolly.