Hendon 0-1 Wealdstone
0 - 1
A second half header from central defender Wes Parker was enough to hand Wealdstone victory over near neighbours Hendon at a sun soaked Vale Farm Stadium on Saturday.
With both clubs sitting safely in mid table, this match had very much an ‘end of season feel’ to it with chances few and far between for both sides. Despite the lack of excitement on show, the victory will come as a welcome tonic to Wealdstone as it stops a torrid run of 3 consecutive league defeats.
After a hesitant start from both sides, Wealdstone’s first chance to open the scoring came on ten minutes when Callum Martin cut inside from the right hand side and fired a shot which stung the hands of Hendon ‘keeper James Reading.
Peter Dean then had his first chance of the afternoon a minute later, firing into the side netting following some good work from Watford loanee Gavin Massey.
Both sides then seemed unable to find any rhythm, with a number of passes being over hit and neither goalkeeper being really tested.
Hendon’s only effort on target in the first half came in the 38th minute when after Darren Locke had fouled Belal Aite-Ouakrim on the edge of the box, the striker dusted himself off to fire in a fierce free kick which Jonathan North tipped over the bar
It was looking once again that Wealdstone’s best chance of a goal was top scorer Peter Dean, and he twice came close towards the end of the first half. First of all, the hard working front man saw his well struck volley from the edge of the box fly just wide, and then on the stroke of half time his left footed effort from 20 yards flew just wide.
With a lack of creativity from both sides in the first half, it was perhaps fitting that the only goal of the game in the 50th minute came from a simple corner routine. Peter Dean lifted the ball into the 18 yard box where Wes Parker rose to send a looping header into the back of the net for his first league goal for Stones.
The home side then went forward in search of an equaliser, and Aaron Morgan came close; ending his jinking run with a shot into the side netting.
Stones were knocking the ball around with a bit more confidence after the goal, and they nearly added a second in the 69thminute. Sean Cronin’s raking pass sent Gavin Massey clear; who in turn laid off Peter Dean whose shot was well blocked.
Callum Martin then came close, seeing his shot from the edge of the box well saved by Reading.
There was then a let off for Stones, as loose defending allowed Aite-Ouakrim time in the box, however he fired hopelessly wide when he should have hit the target.
Hendon were starting to leave gaps as they pushed forward in search of an equaliser, and Wealdstone nearly exploited this with ten minutes left to play. Gavin Massey used his pace to get in behind the backline, where he was able to lay the ball back across the box for Lee Chappell, however the Wealdstone skipper could only fire wide with the goal gaping.
The final few minutes saw Hendon pressing Stones back, with Aite-Ouakrim coming close again, when his shot from the edge of the box was well saved by North. Wealdstone were able to hang on though for a much needed morale boost following some disappointing results in recent weeks.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, A. Massey, Parker, Locke, Cronin, C. Martin (Conteh 75), Brooks, G. Massey, Dean, Chappell (c). Subs not used: Thomas, Adjei, Duncan, P. Martin
By Stuart Warren