Match Report: Saturday, 11 April 2015: Vanarama Conference South: Wealdstone 0 Whitehawk 2
Wealdstone fell to a home defeat in their final match of the current campaign at The Vale but there was no disgrace in losing to another promotion chasing side that make Wealdstone look chronically underfunded.
Stones have learnt so much on the field of play in a ‘trial by fire’ season but they will only be able to truly compete over the longer run when they have enhanced off field financial resources, notwithstanding the responsibility to balance the books to avoid the ‘boom and bust’ that bedevils so many clubs at this level.
It is indeed ironic that Stones are now regularly able to attract crowds approaching or exceeding 800 – four times more than their visitors yet a similar ratio relating to budget probably also applies in reverse.
Whitehawk’s Sam Gargan struck from close range on 38 minutes to give the visitors an advantage they eventually doubled through substitute Jake Robinson seven minutes from time
The promotion chasers were within inches of the lead on 10 minutes when Scott Neilson\’s thunderous free-kick was brilliantly tipped onto the underside of the bar by Jonathan North. The visitors regained possession and crossed from the right for Mills to head in unmarked, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Prompted by the impressive Sergio Torres they dominated the early exchanges, but Wealdstone almost equalised when they too struck wood through Scott McGleish.
Stones\’ veteran striker also had a goal chalked off for offside but the men from the south coast who took the lead when a corner from the right saw Danny Mills rise highest to head goalwards and Gargan applied the final touch.
Stones lost skipper Parker to injury before the break, but were close to a leveller six minutes after the restart when Shaun Lucien fired in a low cross to Jefferson Louis whose close-range toe poke was well saved by Craig Ross.
The visitors seemed content to sit on the lead and almost paid the price on 70 minutes when Matt Ball met a corner from the right on the volley, forcing Ross into a flying save.
But the points were sealed late on when Scott Davies lost the ball in midfield and Mills played in substitute Jake Robinson to score from close range.
After the match, Stones Manager Gordon Bartlett said: ‘At a goal down we had two or three good chances to level the scores but we looked lacklustre today. I felt it was a game we could and should have won but it was very frustrating, particularly as Northy hardly had a save to make. Just as we looked to get our game going we make a mistake and they score from it and its game over’
Wealdstone:North, Martin, Watts, Parker (C) (Hammond 42), Hamblin, Godfrey (Davies 67), Lucien, O\’Nien (Jolly 80), McGleish, Louis, Ball
Subs not used: Brown, Wright,
Whitehawk: Ross, Arnold, Hills(C), Ijaha, Hamilton, Cadmore, Deering (Guyonnet 79), Torres, Neilson ( Makofo 90), Gargan (Robinson 79), Mills
Subs not used: Sankofa, Rose
Referee: Mr L Venamore
Star Man: Sergio Torres
Entertainment rating 3/5