Maidstone United 2- 4 Wealdstone

MaidstoneMaidstone United
Ryman League Premier Division

2 - 4

WealdstoneWealdstone
KO: 15:00 | Sat 5th Feb ’11

Wealdstone came out on top in the battle of the Stones on Saturday as they overcame their Kent counterparts 4-2 in an entertaining game. The hero of the afternoon was once again Richard Jolly as the on loan Sutton United striker scored a hatrick for the second successive game, the first time the striker has achieved this feat during his career. Jolly’s lethal form could of course be bitter sweet for Wealdstone as his recent performances will surely not go unnoticed by his parent club.

When quizzed after the game on Jolly’s immediate future, manager Gordon Bartlett replied “it’s down to Sutton, at the moment we are giving him what he needs which is opportunities to play, and our style of play suits him. I hope we can keep him for a little bit longer but if we can’t we just have to deal with it.”

With Jolly taking the plaudits with his hatrick, it was fellow loanee Kieran Knight who opened the scoring for Wealdstone at a blustery Homelands Stadium. After a scrappy start, Stones were awarded a corner on ten minutes which was taken quickly to Danny Spendlove. The winger took a touch before whipping in a delightful cross which Knight met with a close range bullet header to give his side an early lead.

Knight then had an opportunity to double his tally two minutes later when he seized on a loose ball from the Maidstone backline and found himself one on one, however his weak effort was deflected wide by United ‘keeper Andy Walker.

United found a way back into the game on 21 minutes, when Cedric Abraham picked out Tommy Whitnell with a long ball forward, who then proceeded to outpace Sean Cronin before rounding Jonathan North and rolling the ball into an empty net.

Both sides then had opportunities to take the lead soon after, with Knight firing over from close range for Wealdstone, and then Colin Richmond firing just wide for the home side.

Stones then got their second goal of the afternoon on 38 minutes. Spendlove fired over a corner which was headed goalwards by Wes Parker, and then bundled over the line by Jolly, despite the protests of United who felt that Marshall had been impeded.

Stones were ahead for just two minutes though when Jolly turned from hero to villain, gifting possession to Nathan Paul who squared for an unmarked Danny Hockton to fire an unstoppable shot past North from 20 yards.

The visitors began the second half the brighter of the two sides, and they thought they had taken the lead in controversial fashion on 54 minutes. Lee Chappell fired in a free kick which deceived Marshall, who under pressure from Alan Massey fumbled the ball over the line. The referee originally gave the goal but after consulting his assistant, decided that Massey had fouled Marshall and awarded the home side a free kick.

Peter Dean then went close, firing over when well positioned following some good work from Spendlove and Jolly, as Stones pushed forward looking for a third.

They eventually got their reward on 65 minutes. Cronin’s ball forward was flicked on by Dean to Jolly who took a touch before finishing smartly off the outside of his foot.

Jolly then sealed his hatrick two minutes later with Wealdstone’s fourth. The impressive Danny Spendlove showed great skill to go past his marker before laying the ball across the six yard box where it was tapped in from close range by Jolly to give Stones a two goal lead.

The fourth goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Maidstone, who never really looked like getting back into the game and Stones were able to see the remainder out comfortably.

Despite the three points, Gordon Bartlett was far from happy with his side’s performance, saying “the story was told by the lads at half time, they walked in and you could hear a pin drop. I thought we gave away two sloppy goals, and I felt the tempo today wasn’t quite there today. Not a good performance but away from home it’s another win so I can’t complain too much!”

Next up for Wealdstone is a home tie on Monday night with Staines in the quarter final of the Middlesex Senior Cup, where they will be looking to record their sixth win on the bounce.

Wealdstone: North, Parker, Chappell, Massey, Cronin, Dyer, Dean (Federico 68), Brooks, Knight, Jolly (Martin 78), Spendlove (Gill 82).

Star Man: Richard Jolly