Wealdstone FC 3 – 0 Billericay Town, Saturday 8th February 2020

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From wealdstone-fc.com

High flyers Wealdstone entertained seventeenth placed Billericay Town on Saturday afternoon, keen to extend their outstanding home form, and enhance their position at the top of the National League South.

A first half goal from the impressive Moses Emmanuel, along with a swift second half brace from hotshot Ross Lafayette, secured a comfortable victory for the Stones in-front of a record league attendance at The Vale.

Manager Dean Brennan opted to start with an unchanged line-up to the side that netted seven and swept aside fellow promotion contenders Bath City two weeks ago.

Wealdstone dominated the opening half, creating a string of opportunities, as they displayed attacking football from the outset, peppering the Blues’ goal.

The Stones’ first chance of the match came in the 7th minute of play, as Emmanuel fed the creative Billy Clifford, but he fired his effort narrowly wide of the target.

Five minutes later, Dennon Lewis cut inside from the left flank and hit a blistering effort towards goal, but Alan Julian pulled off a solid save for the visitors.

Moments later, Clifford whipped in a dangerous in-swinging corner, which was headed off of the line by Blues’ midfielder Doug Loft, to preserve the score.

Clifford was in the midst of the action again for the Stones, hitting a first-time effort from just inside the box, which was tipped wide by Julian, in the 20th minute.

The Blues’ goalkeeper was in fine form for the Blues throughout, producing another excellent save a minute later to thwart Smith’s deflected strike.

The chance of the half came in the 25th minute, as danger-man Lewis danced free from the Billericay defence in the left corner to tee-up Clifford with a pinpoint cross at the back post, but his volleyed effort flew just over the crossbar.

After galvanising a flurry of opportunities, the Stones deservedly took the lead in the 33rd minute. The impressive Lewis whipped in a delightful cross from the left wing, which was brilliantly headed home by Emmanuel at the far post.

Three minutes later, the Stones nearly doubled their lead, as Emmanuel skipped past his defender to go beyond the Billericay backline and drill a low strike towards goal, but Julian was again on-hand to deny the effort.

In the 37th minute, the tenacious Ashley Charles produced a sublime effort on goal, striking a bullet shot from 30 yards, which prompted an excellent save from Julian.

Just before the stroke of half-time, Emmanuel was close to notching his brace, striking a first-time volley on the turn, which flew just shy of the far post.

The Blues started the second half in a more combative fashion, with former Stones player Jacob Cook replacing Brian Galach in midfield.

However, Wealdstone continued to penetrate Billericay with their cohesive play and attacking flair, duly doubling their lead in the 62nd minute. Substitute and top goal scorer Lafayette made an instant impact, pouncing in the box to coolly slot past Julian for his 11th league goal of the season.

The Stones continued to advance forward and press for a third goal to put the result beyond doubt. They were rewarded in the 76th minute, as the deadly Lafayette swooped in the box again to clinically convert past Julian, and seal his brace.

Birmingham City loanee Olly McCoy made his league debut for Wealdstone, replacing Danny Green in the 84th minute.

The Stones controlled the remainder of the match to capture another three points, clean sheet, and home win, with Connor Smith producing another outstanding performance in the heart of midfield.

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee

Wealdstone: Oxborough, Efete, Mendy, Clifford, Stevens, Okimo, Charles (Phillips, 69), Smith, Emmanuel (Lafayette, 57), Green (McCoy, 84), Lewis.

Subs not used: Everett, Jebb.

Billericay Town: Julian, Hudson, Collins (Nunn, 86), Henry, Potter, Galach (Cook, 45), Loft, Robinson, Paxman, Akinwande, Kefalas (Ramsey, 63).

Subs not used: Gillela, Jackson.

The Stones return to action on Tuesday 11th February in the Middlesex Charity Cup, as they host Harrow Borough at The Vale, kick-off is at 7.45pm.

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