League Leaders Wealdstone travelled to The Beveree Stadium to face fifteenth placed Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday afternoon, intent on bolstering their position at top of the National League South.
Goals from Danilo Orsi-Dadomo and Jake Gray secured a convincing victory for the Beavers, as Wealdstone fell to only their third league defeat this season.
The match started at a frantic pace, with both sides trying to settle into the tempo of the game, and establish a rhythm.
The Stones were tantalisingly close to taking an early lead in the 13th minute, as the creative Billy Clifford, who was already pulling the strings in the heart of midfield, forced a smart save from Beavers’ goalkeeper Dan Lincoln.
A moment later, Dejon Noel-Williams slid in for the rebound, but a combination of Lincoln and the post denied the striker from adding to his recent flurry of goals this season.
In the 25th minute, the Beavers generated their own scoring opportunity, as Ruaridh Donaldson surged through past the Wealdstone defence for a one-on-one with Jonathan North, but Stones’ number one produced a fantastic near-post save to deny the hosts.
Clifford continued to significantly impact the match, curling a brilliant effort narrowly wide in the 37th minute, from just outside the edge of the box.
As the second half progressed, the match continued in the same edgy vein, with both sides grappling to establish ascendancy in the match. North was on fine in his return to the Stones line-up, producing a number of keys saves.
After a goalless first half, the second half commenced in a feistier fashion, as the Stones emerged from half-time with added impetus, looking to seize an early advantage.
Against the run of play, the Beavers took the lead in the 56th minute, as Danilo Orsi-Dadomo profited from a quick attack to round North and slot into an empty net; sending the hosts into an unexpected lead.
In the 65th minute, the Beavers were close to doubling their lead as Ryan Hill surged into the Wealdstone box, but Stevens was well-position to tackle Hill, and then block Sam Deadfield’s follow-up from the edge of the box, to thwart the danger.
Dean Brennan then implemented a treble substitution, with the introduction of Jack Jebb, Jacob Mendy, and Ross Lafayette galvanising the visitors to nearly draw level; new signing Jebb was close to scoring on his debut as he struck a low shot, but Lincoln was equal to the effort.
The Beavers doubled their lead in the 81st minute as they mounted a quick counter attack through Matt Young on the right wing, which resulted in Jake Gray latching onto Young’s cross to fire home past North, sealing an important victory for the home side.
Wealdstone return to action next Saturday in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy, as they host Royston Town at The Vale, kick-off is at 3pm.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee
Wealdstone: North, Arnold, Efete, Clifford (Jebb, 65), Stevens, Okimo, Phillips, Smith, Noel-Williams (Mendy, 65), Green (Lafayette, 70), Lewis.
Subs not used: Everett, Charles.