Match Report by Nick DuGard: Monday, 21 March 2016: National League South:
Wealdstone 0 Sutton United 2
These are dangerous times for Wealdstone who remain very much in a relegation dogfight – of that there can be no doubt. But against promotion contenders Sutton United on Monday evening the realities of the haves and have nots was all too stark and demonstrated the gulf in the strength of respective squads – and size of available budget.
Manager Gordon Bartlett not only has to contend with the current form of his squad now shorn of arguably its best midfield player but also has to balance the books as the squad is trimmed at a crucial time of the season when every point isdoubly precious.
It is unreasonably defeatist to contemplate that this game was lost before a ball was kicked on Monday, but it sometimes certainly felt like it.
Sutton displayed on field characteristics that are generally anathema to Wealdstone supporters but like it or not the big, strong whinging makeup of the current Us side is probably what wins games consistently and possibly championships. We have seen it all before. But you have to pay for it.
Unfortunately Stones were not helped on the night by some highly variable refereeing from Mr Rathbone – and this correspondent does not normally criticise the man in the middle. On this occasion it was virtually impossible not to.
Nevertheless this was a poor performance from the home side who struggled centrally up front with Marvin Morgan preferred in place of Jefferson Louis.
To be fair the game was very even for the first 30 minutes and Stones had a goal from Johnny Wright chalked off for an offside infringement after only 4 minutes play.
Stones battled away manfully and tried to probe a big, mean, ugly defence without luck because they couldn’t hold the ball up in the centre forward position but were having some joy down the flanks via Bradley Hudson-Odoi and the recalled Shaun Lucien. But it was all rather pea shooter stuff against Chieftain Tanks.
Stones began to come under increasing pressure but a sickeningly soft hand ball decision against Dale Binnseffectively turned the game and it was 0-1 on 33 minutes. Scorer was Bedsente Gomis.
The moaning and whinging and spoiling continued as Stones huffed and politely puffed out the half.
Soon after the turnaround Stones almost grabbed a life line when for once Morgan slipped the ball to Hudson-Odoi whose sharp strike whistled past Ross Worner’s upright.
Ryan Burge headed over and then United had a goal chalked off themselves but the ironic cheers were not to last long as it become the Silence of the lambs inside the Freebets Stadium as the home support become paralysed with nervous anticipation and in the process forgot to create any kind of noise, leaving that to a rather pathetic away turnout (for a top side).
Stones used all subs but in the final analysis it made little difference as Sutton netted the inevitable second after an almighty scramble and lights out. Scorer: Louis John.
We all need to get behind Stones on Saturday big style or the doom merchants will be revving up for the coming of the apocalypse.
Wealdstone: Bransgrove, Urquhart, Binns, Cadmore, Hamblin, Godfrey, Lucien, Wright, Morgan, Davies, Hudson-Odoi. Subs used: Louis, Demetriou, Mavila. Not used: Smith, Hall