Bury Town 1- 0 Wealdstone
1 - 0
Wealdstone played out their final league match of the season at play-off chasing Bury Town on Saturday and despite a bright and confident performance for large parts of the 90 minutes they fell to the softest of goals less than a minute into the second period when their defence uncharacteristically fell asleep allowing the hosts to gain a lead they then held onto reasonably comfortably.
Bury would have been grateful for Stones lack of a killer instinct in the first period when they enjoyed a huge amount of possession and some excellent approach play; sadly Stones once again failed to turn clever passing moves into goals and this cost them dear; they will reflect on this one aspect of their play that critically can mean the difference between ultimate success or an also ran position.
Nevertheless it was Wealdstone that ripped into a nervy looking home side from the off and a corner was won within a minute’s play. Alan Massey was unlucky with a vicious strike that was off target only seconds later. Urged on by a vocal and passionate support that out sung the home crowd throughout, Stones continued to drive forward and Alex Dyer did well with a great strike that deserved more as the home keeper was kept busy and on constant alert.
Eddie Adjei, starting up front with Peter Dean, was looking lively and was causing the home defence problems and time and again Stones pressed and pegged back The Blues. Nikki Ahamed skilfully made space but saw his strike go wide and then Stones best chance fell to defender James Hammond whose low shot was only just clawed away to safety by home keeper Marcus Garnham. Then Dean went agonisingly close from Ahamed’s accurate cross on the half hour mark.
Dyer and Kurtney Brooks were controlling the middle of the park allowing Adjei and Lee Chappell to get forward; Chappell was soon adding to list of shots that whistled wide of Garnham’s goal as the visitors ended the half on top and very effectively restricting Bury.
But all of Stones hard work and endeavour of the first 45 minutes was undone within seconds of the restart. The home defence appeared totally stupefied allowing a Bury attack to penetrate deep into Jon North’s area and somehow Sam Reed scuffed home leaving Stones shell shocked in completely unexpected fashion.
To their credit Wealdstone soon hit back with a quick attack, winning a decent free kick; then skipper Chappell miscued wildly when well placed.
Bury began to find more space as Stones were now pegged back somewhat and North saved superbly on 65 minutes keeping his side in contention.
Stones management then threw on all three substitutes in an effort to find the breakthrough their possession deserved but it was not to be. A robust series of challenges by one of those replacements, Denzil Conteh, resulted in a second booking a couple of minutes from the end and the midfielders sending off rubbed salt into the visitors wounds.
So Wealdstone’s 12th position before kick off was never going to change but a point at least would not have been begrudged by the home side but who gratefully received all the points on offer allowing them to briefly celebrate an upcoming play off tie with rivals Lowestoft in front of their surprisingly mute supporters.
Stones can now focus on their County Cup tie on Monday evening versus Hanworth Villa at Hayes & Yeading’s ground kick-off 7.30pm.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Locke, Cronin, Massey, Ahamed, Dyer, Brooks, Chappell, Dean, Adjei. Subs used: C Martin, Spendlove, Conteh.