Wealdstone welcomed Bristol Manor Farm to The Vale on Tuesday evening, for their FA Cup third qualifying round replay, with the winner advancing to a fourth round tie with Maidenhead United at York Road.
Goals from Jacob Mendy, Michee Efete, Billy Clifford, and Dennon Lewis capped off a commanding display and emphatic victory for the Stones, propelling them into the next round of the cup.
Dean Brennan’s side started the match in a purposeful fashion, dictating the early stages of play, as they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.
The home side was close to breaking the deadlock in the 19th minute, as the impressive Lewis unleashed a vicious left-footed strike from distance, which flew across Farm’s goalkeeper Ben John, and narrowly past the far post.
A minute later, Mendy displayed tremendous skill to weave his way past two Farm defenders on the right wing, and curl an effort inches wide of the back post.
The floodgates began to open for the Stones, as two minutes later, top goal scorer Ross Lafayette hit a superb first-time shot from Mendy’s through ball, only to be denied by a last-ditch block from Farm’s defender.
Against the run of play, the away side was close to taking an unexpected lead. Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist profited from a quick counter attack to produce a fantastic curling effort from the edge of the box, which just evaded the far post.
The Stones continued to pressure the Farm’s goal, and in the 28th minute, the influential Billy Clifford, who was rampant in the heart of the midfield throughout, was tantalisingly close to scoring, with only the woodwork denying Wealdstone the lead.
In the 42nd minute, talisman Lafayette produced a fabulous effort from the edge of the box, which beat John, but agonisingly rebounded off of the post.
However, the Stones’ dominance finally prevailed a moment later, as magician Mendy rose highest to direct a beautiful looping header over John, and send Wealdstone into a deserved half-time lead.
The second half commenced in a similar vein for the Stones, as they dominated proceedings from the outset, dictating the tempo of play.
Wealdstone doubled their lead in the 51st minute, as full-back Efete surged forward brilliantly down the left wing, latching onto Clifford’s perfectly weighted through ball, and effortlessly rounded John, to coolly slot home into an empty net.
As the game opened up, Wealdstone began to galvanise further goal scoring opportunities through their cohesive and incisive play, with only resilient defending and excellent saves from John thwarting their efforts.
The Stones were duly rewarded for their superiority in the 67th minute, as Clifford produce a moment of brilliance; curling an exquisite strike from the edge of the box around John, into the bottom corner.
The rout was completed in the 76th minute, as the dangerous Lewis pounced on a defensive error to power into the box, skip past John, and slot home for the Stones.
Wealdstone return to National League South action this Saturday when the Stones travel to Melbourne Stadium to face Essex-based Chelmsford City, kick-off is at 3pm.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee
Wealdstone: Oxborough, Arnold (Coker, 73), Efete, Clifford, Stevens, Okimo, Phillips (Charles, 69), Smith, Lafayette (Watt, 69), Mendy, Lewis.
Subs not used: Green, Ringer, Saunders, Crotty.