Front runners Wealdstone travelled to face fellow promotion contenders Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park in a top of the table clash, intent on asserting their league leader status in the National League South.
A first half header from Michee Efete, along with a second half brace from Moses Emmanuel, and a goal from Danny Green sealed an emphatic win for the Stones, as the visitors produced a stunning comeback to power past Havant & Waterlooville. Dean Beckwith and Danny Kedwell were on target for the Hawks.
Manager Dean Brennan made two changes to the starting line-up which defeated Welling United last Saturday, with midfielder Jacob Mendy slotting in for Jake Sheppard at left back, and Ashley Charles stepping into midfield for the suspended Michael Phillips.
Wealdstone had the worst possible start to the match, conceding in only the fourth minute of play, as Andy Drury’s corner was met by Beckwith, whose effort was adjudged to have crossed the line by the linesman.
The Hawks dominated the early stages of play, and were unfortunate not to have increased their lead further, with Jonah Ayunga proving a constant threat for the home side.
As the first half progressed, the visitors began to settle into the match, commanding more possession, and generating more cohesive attacking play.
In the 25th minute, the Stones were duly rewarded for their vigour, as their full backs combined superbly to level the match. Left back Jacob Mendy whipped in a teasing cross, and man of the moment Efete, who has been in scintillating form, leapt to power a fantastic bullet header past Ross Worner.
Spurred on by this goal, Wealdstone began to gather further momentum, with Clifford starting to dominate proceedings in midfield, and ignite attacks for the Stones.
The climax of the first half saw end-to-end action for both sides, as the match developed into a pulsating game; a battle of the goliaths.
The Stones started the second half in a similar vein to the first, relinquishing another early goal, within two minutes of the interval. Drury curled in a free kick, which was met with a towering header from Kedwell at the far post, edging the Hawks back into the lead.
Galvanised into action after surrendering another goal, Wealdstone increased their intensity and duly profited in the 58th minute, as Clifford drove in a low cross for Emmanuel, who coolly slotted past Worner for his first goal for the club; drawing the visitors level in the process.
The Stones then stepped up into another gear, with danger man Emmanuel causing havoc for the Hawks’ defence. The striker completed his brace in the 75th minute, as the influential Clifford won the ball, drove forward, and then squared to Emmanuel, who clinically converted past Worner to send the Stones into the lead.
As the second half drew to a close, Wealdstone were firing on all cylinders, and edged further ahead of the Hawks through Green, who popped up in the box to poke home the Stones’ fourth goal, in the 81st minute.
The Hawks rallied in the remaining ten minutes to reduce the deficit, but resolute and tenacious defending from the Stones, along with excellent game management, secured an outstanding away victory for the table toppers.
Wealdstone return to action on Tuesday 21st January in the Middlesex FA Senior Cup, as they travel to face Staines Town at Wheatsheaf Park, in a 7.45pm kickoff.