Carshalton Athletic 2- 3 Wealdstone
2 - 3
Wealdstone’s recent revival continued as they survived a late fight back to secure all three points at high flying Carshalton. It was an impressive, hard working display from Stones who can take many positives away from this match as they look to keep in touch with the top half of the table after a slow start to the campaign.
A brace from midfielder Alex Dyer, and a well taken goal from Danny Spendlove saw Stones race into a three goal lead, and despite a late rally from the home side which saw them pull the game back to 3-2, Stones fully deserved to take all three points.
Following on from the morale boosting FA Trophy win at Brackley, Jonathan North was able to take his place in the side having missed Saturday’s game due to illness, with Sean Cronin returning to his favoured position in the centre of defence in place of the suspended Alan Massey. There was also a start for new signing James Hammond, with the former Colchester United and Leyton defender coming in at right back in place of Ben Gill.
It was Peter Dean’s late goal which saw Wealdstone through to the next round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, and the striker looked to carry on where he left off, when on six minutes he showed some neat control inside the box before firing just wide after being found by a clever ball from Lee Chappell.
Carshalton were quick to respond though, and Gary Noel fired just over a few minutes later after Stones had gifted the home side possession.
After a fairly even start it was Stones who took the lead on 19 minutes. Carshalton could only half clear a Lee Chappell cross to Danny Spendlove who’s clever ball back into the box found Alex Dyer who was able to calmly lift the ball over ‘keeper Craig Ross for his 2nd goal of the season.
Things got even better for Stones three minutes later, as some neat counter attacking play down the right hand side between Forbes and Dyer resulted in Danny Spendlove finishing emphatically from the edge of the box to put Stones 2-0 up.
The home side then looked to pull themselves back into the game, with Luke Pidgen firing well over and then a great block inside the box from new boy James Hammond denying Joel Ledgister. The Wealdstone backline stood firm though, and they were able to take a two goal lead into the break.
Carshalton began the second half brighter than they had the first, and had a couple of half chances early on with Michael Boateng being denied by a great challenge from Chris O’Leary, and then Ledgister firing just wide across the face of goal following a corner.
Stones were able to further extend their lead on the hour mark though. Following a Carshalton corner, Wes Parker found Lee Chappell who surged down the left flank unchallenged before sending a low cross to the back post where Alex Dyer slammed the ball home for his second of the night and Wealdstone’s third.
Having so far enjoyed a quiet night, Stone’s keeper Jonathan North was called into action three minutes after the goal, diving bravely at Noel’s feet as the former Croydon Athletic man closed in on goal.
Kieron Forbes came close to adding a fourth for Wealdstone on 70 minutes. The pacey winger rode two challenges on the edge of the box before firing straight at Ross.
As the game then looked like it was going to peter out, the home side gave themselves a lifeline with five minutes to go when Justyn Roberts smashed home a superb effort from the edge of the box after Stone’s had failed to clear a corner properly.
After a flurry of late corners and balls into the box, Carshalton were able to reduce the deficit even more to set up a grandstand finish when substitute David Obaze bundled the ball home in injury time following a goalmouth scramble.
Despite the late pressure, Stones hung on to claim a priceless victory, and one which means they have now only lost once in their last 11 matches. They now face a tricky away trip to League leaders Sutton United on Saturday, before a home tie against Wingate and Finchley on Monday in the Ryman League Cup.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell, Parker, Cronin, Dyer (Long 82), Dean, O’Leary, Brooks, Forbes, Spendlove (Lavers 73). Subs not used: Gill, Leggett, Carter
By Stuart Warren