League leaders Wealdstone entertained second position and fellow title contenders Bath City at The Vale in this weekend’s the top of the table clash, keen to extend their advantage at the summit of the National League South.
First half goals from Billy Clifford and Connor Stevens, along with an own goal placed the Stones into a commanding halftime lead; while a second half brace from Dennon Lewis, along with goals from Danny Green and Michael Phillips sealed a scintillating victory for the Stones.
Manager Dean Brennan made one change to the starting line-up which produced a brilliant performance and comeback to defeat promotion contenders Havant & Waterlooville last Saturday. Norwich City loanee shot stopper Aston Oxborough, fresh from extending his loan until the end of the season, replaced Harry Isted in goal for the Stones.
The Stones took the lead in superb fashion in the 14th minute, as Aston Oxborough lofted a diagonal free kick towards the far post, which was initially cleared by the Romans; however, midfielder Clifford latched onto the loose ball and unleashed a sublime low drive from outside of the box into the bottom corner past Clarke, sending the home side into a deserved lead.
Wealdstone doubled their advantage in the 23rd minute, as Danny Green whipped a delightful free kick into the box, which was converted home by a Bath City player for an own goal.
Clifford nearly trebled the Stones’ lead in the 29th minute, as he smashed a fantastic effort from long range, with only the woodwork denying him an early brace.
In the 40th minute, Wealdstone were agonisingly close to adding another goal, as tenacious work and a splitting pass from Clifford, released Michee Efete on the right wing, who hit a fierce effort, which fizzed past the crossbar.
The Stones’ dominance prevailed again in the 42nd minute, as set-piece specialist Green curled in another excellent delivery from a corner, which was met by defender Connor Stevens, who rose highest to power his header into the top corner past Clarke, enhancing Wealdstone’s lead before the stroke of half time.
With a three goal cushion, the Stones started the second half in a potent manner, attacking the Romans from the outset, as they looked to continue on the front foot and extend their lead.
Wealdstone were duly rewarded for their attacking impetus and cohesive play as they quadrupled their lead in the 54th minute. Moses Emmanuel raced clear on the right wing and combined effortlessly with Lewis, who took one touched and rocketed a brilliant shot into the top corner past Clarke.
Despite the score line, the Stones continued to press for another goal and capitalised in the 61st minute, as the influential Clifford turned provider again, releasing Lewis on the left wing to drill his shot past Clarke, and seal his brace.
Seven minutes later, Lewis went on another trademark mazy run down the right flank, skipping past a number of Bath City defenders in the process; the ball eventually fell to Green, who despatched a driven effort past Clarke for the Stones’ sixth goal.
Substitute Phillips made an instance impact for the Stones, scoring shortly after his introduction as Clifford flashed a low ball across the face of the goal, and Phillips coolly tapped in at the far post, sending the Stones into seventh heaven.
Overall, it was another phenomenal win for the Stones, with the whole team putting in a faultless performance, as they registered another home victory and clean sheet, while increasing their margin at the top of the table.
Wealdstone return to action on Tuesday 25th January in the Middlesex FA Senior Cup, as they travel to face Staines Town at Wheatsheaf Park, in a 7.45pm kickoff.
Wealdstone: Oxborough, Efete, Mendy (Phillips 76), Clifford, Stevens, Okimo, Charles, Smith, Emmanuel (Watt 86), Green, Lewis (Lafayette 75).
Subs not used: Isted, Coombes.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee