Wealdstone 3- 0 Tooting & Mitcham United
3 - 0
Wealdstone put in a highly impressive performance in their first home game of the season to record a 3-0 victory over Tooting and Mitcham. The overall performance was much better from Stones, and they looked a completely different side to the one which was well beaten by Hastings at the weekend. Although only two games into the season, Wealdstone fans have every reason to be optimistic if this performance is anything to go by.
Manager Gordon Bartlett made three changes from the side that were beaten by Hastings at the weekend, with Peter Dean returning from illness to replace Ryan Ashe, Alan Massey coming in for Sean Cronin and Chris O’leary replacing Mark E’beyer.
It was a cautious start from both teams, but it was Tooting, fresh from a 4-3 victory over Hendon at the weekend, who had the first opportunity early on, when Kienon Mason-Hughes had an effort from 25 yards which went well wide. Wealdstone then began to take control, moving the ball around sweetly, and they were almost rewarded on 12 minutes, when Louis Lavers floated over a free kick to the far post, but Greg Ngoyi somehow managed to head wide from two yards. Stones did take the lead two minutes later though, when Kieron Forbes fired in an excellent cross from the right flank, and Scott Fitzgerald made no mistake with a neat half volley into the bottom corner. Mason-Hughes almost equalised for Tooting just a couple of minutes later with a powerful shot on the turn, but he was denied by a superb reflex save from Stones ’keeper Jonathan North. Wealdstone continued to press though, and doubled their advantage on 23 minutes when Scott Fitzgerald slid a superb through ball to Greg Ngoyi. It looked like his first touch had been too heavy, but he was able to poke home despite a heavy last ditch challenge from a Tooting defender. Stones were now brimming with confidence, and Scott Fitzgerald was unlucky to see a superbly struck half volley crash off the crossbar, after being set up by good work from a skilful Peter Dean. Things got even better for Wealdstone on the stroke of half time when they added a third with a superbly worked goal. It was a fast flowing move down the left hand side, which resulted in Louis Lavers sending over an inch perfect cross for Greg Ngoyi to slot past the ‘keeper for his second goal of the evening.
Although Wealdstone started the second period a little more tentatively, they were still working hard and closing Tooting down in the midfield areas, preventing them from being able to create any real chances. It was Stones who had the first clear cut chance of the half, with Peter Dean seeing his looping header bounce off the top of the Tooting crossbar. As the game faded out, Stones withdrew two goal hero Greg Ngoyi, and replaced him with Danny Burnell. Burnell almost made an instant impact, finding himself one on one after latching onto a great pass from Dean, however he could only side foot into the ‘keepers arms.
Tooting were becoming frustrated, and things boiled over five minutes from time when Millwall loanee Mason-Hughes received a straight red for a nasty looking challenge on Peter Dean. At the end of the game, Wealdstone received a great ovation from the home fans, who will be hoping for a similar performance in Saturdays game at The Vale with Horsham (28 August).
Wealdstone: North, Lavers, Chappell, Parker, Massey, Brooks, Dean, O’leary, Ngoyi, Fitzgerald, Forbes. Subs used: Burnell, Spendlove. N/u: Ashe, Cronin
Man of the Match: Alan Massey
By Stuart Warren