Wealdstone 0 – 4 Watford

WealdstoneWealdstone
Friendly

0 - 4

WatfordWatford
KO: 19:45 | Wed 18th Jul ’07

Championship side Watford brought a full strength side to a packed Preston Park on Wednesday evening and gave a hard working Wealdstone team a lesson in finishing. From what looked like a Hornets goal avalanche in the first 15 minutes of this match, Stones to their huge credit never let their work rate drop, kept their shape and certainly didn’t look five divisions lower in ability or class for most of this friendly.

Watford took full early advantage of some naive defending from the Stones and after only 5 minutes play Tamas Priskin headed past keeper Luke Blackmore in for the injured Mitch Swain. Marlon King then showed why he is in the £5 million bracket when he expertly shot past Blackmore on 9 minutes and then Hornets piled more pressure on the hard pressed stones backline with a third goal from Tommy Smith only 4 minutes later following a great run.

Stones then rallied well and started to play some stylish football themselves with Lee O’Leary and Chris O’Leary asserting themselves very competently in the midfield to give the defense some much needed respite. Not that Stones rearguard was without ability, and ,of the recent new signings, big Marcus Gross and James Gray certainly caught the eye and will do better against lesser opponents in the Ryman Premier this season.

Blackmore excelled himself with a smart full length save to keep the score to a respectable 0 – 3 at half time. Both sides made a large number of changes after the turnaround with Stones Boss Gordon Bartlett taking the opportunity to test his full squad. Inevitably play opened up and this gave Wealdstone the chance to play with more freedom but they still found forward chances frustratingly difficult against their lofty opponents. Some players benefitted from a different shape -in particular Carl Martin showed his ability as a rising star for the stones.

Stones hard work and endeavour deserved a goal but it wasn’t to be and it was the Hornets that claimed the final score when young Jordan Parkes tapped in on 89 minutes to round off a fine evenings entertainment for a relaxed crowd estimated at 1,000 – a record for Preston Park.

Wealdstone Manager, Gordon Bartlett, was all smiles after the match and he had clearly enjoyed his taste of the big time: ‘ A great evening for everyone and although we initially defended naively we will take some major postives from this performance – let’s face it they were a Premier League side last season and the difference in fitness was going to be obvious but we responded well and I’m very happy with our application’. Bartlett went on to comment that Watford Boss Aidy Boothroyd took time out to talk to the stones players after the match and was full of praise for their performance, he said: ‘ I was really chuffed about that and this was a great experience for my players – Aidy is a gentleman and you can’t say that about many managers!

Wealdstone FC

0

 

4

Watford FC
Priskin, King, Smith, Parkes

Blackmore

1

Poom

Martin

2

Mariappa

Grant

3

Stewart

Gray

4

Jackson

Gross

5

Carlisle

L O’Leary

6

Williamson

A Martin

7

Smith

C O’Leary

8

Mahon

Dean

9

Priskin

Papali

10

McAnuf

Brown

11

King

Cooper

12

Lee

Chappell

13

Doyley

Cooper

14

Parkes

Alexander

15

Avinel

Swift

17

Campana

Desiller

18

Bangura

19

Cavalli

20

McNamee

21

Kabba

22

O’Toole

23

Williams