Wealdstone 2 – 1 North Greenford United
2 - 1
A somewhat unfamiliar looking Stones line up was fielded on a slippery Vale surface on Wednesday evening for this delayed Middlesex Senior Cup match. New loan signing from Colchester United, Sam Corcoran played in the centre of midfield and experienced right back Lee Protheroe also featured. Also catching the eye was 17 year old Reece York who played along side Alan Massey in the heart of the Stones defence and had a fine game. Ross Lafayette partnered Charlie Mpi up front.
Wealdstone struggled to make any telling headway in a generally frustrating first period and allowed the energetic and competent Combined Counties outfit to take the initiative on too many occasions. Stones had several chances that were frittered away – Charlie Mpi shot wide early on when very well placed from a good Protheroe through ball and repeated the profligacy on 13 minutes.
Stones were pretty in the middle of the park but lacked a cutting edge in contrast to United’s fast raiding forwards of Ricky Pither and Luc Kenny with a more direct and dangerous approach .
Luc Kenny took United into the lead with a good long range shot that was partly deflected past Sam Beagle on 15 minutes that was against the immediate run of play but nonetheless was not really surprising to the sparse and mainly unenthusiastic crowd of 109.
Beagle was called into action on the half hour mark to stop a powerful strike as Stones continued to play around the danger areas. Michael Murray was desperately unlucky to see his chipped shot just clear the cross bar with Beagle well beaten as a lethargic defence failed to close down his run through the middle.
Wealdstone looked a different side in the second period with a role reversal as it was now United’s turn to struggle with lost possession all over the park.
Charlie Mpi cut the ball back for Ross Lafayette to blast against an upright, but on 51 minutes, Mpi finally finished in clinical style from a quick throw in to level up the scores just as Gordon Bartlett entered the dugout.
Stones looked far more determined and upped the pace and were closing down the away side’s attacks far more consistently. Danny Spendlove was combining well down the flanks with Lee Chappell and causing real problems for the United defence.
Wealdstone wrapped up the scoring and the tie on 75 minutes following clever work from Sam Corcoran on the edge of the box. Charlie Mpi flicked past the stout Babacarr Jallow for 2-1 as the home side’s superior fitness started to tell.
The game was effectively over as a contest as a flurry of substitutions from both sides allowed respective managers to test out fresh legs.
A useful if stuttering win for Stones as they are now back into full on league action – starting at Tonbridge this Saturday.
Wealdstone: Beagle, Protheroe, Chappell, Yorke, Massey, Corcoran, Spendlove, O’Leary, Mpi, Lafayette, E’Beyer. Subs used: During, Osborne, Shalzi .