Wealdstone 0 -1 Margate
0 - 1
Wealdstone slumped to their second 1-0 defeat within two days at the hands of Margate. At a soaking wet Vale, a superb strike from Margate’s Dan Stubbs was enough to settle this drab encounter, and although Stones improved in the second half they were unable to find a way past a resilient Margate backline. More worryingly for Stones it means that they have failed to find the net in their last five games.
Following on from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Tooting and Mitcham, there was a welcome return to the side for Greg Ngoyi who partnered Peter Dean in attack as Gordon Bartlett opted for a 4-4-2 formation. Captain Lee Chappell was also moved to a more advanced role, starting the game on the left of midfield with Danny Spendlove switching to the right.
It was Spendlove who had the first chance of the match for Stones 2 minutes in, when he latched onto a through ball from Peter Dean before cutting inside and curling a shot just wide of the far post.
As the rain lashed down, both sides were struggling to create any chances, although Alex Dyer came close for Stones on 26 minutes, firing just over from a quickly taken corner.
Wealdstone had to make an enforced change ten minutes before the interval, with Chris O’Leary being removed due to injury and Ben Gill coming on in his place.
The home side then had two good chances to take the lead just before half time. First of all Lee Chappell found himself one on one after a good ball from Dean, however the captains shot was well blocked by the legs of Margate ‘keeper Jamie Turner. From the corner that resulted, Turner again came to the rescue, saving Spendlove’s close range effort after a flick on from Wes Parker.
It looked as though the sides would go in level; however the deadlock was broken in spectacular fashion on the stroke of half time. James Pinnock laid the ball off to Dan Stubbs who fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
Stones began the second half the brighter of the two sides as they looked to find a way back into the game. Greg Ngoyi had the first chance of the half, seeing his effort from the edge of the box palmed away following good work from Spendlove.
A swift counter attack nearly saw the visitors double their lead on 51 minutes, with Shaun Welford seeing his shot well saved by Jonathan North.
Ngoyi had his second chance of the half on 55 minutes. Wes Parker flicked on a Spendlove corner to the former Northampton man, who saw his effort from point blank rage well blocked by Turner.
Chappell then saw his 20 yard effort deflected over, before Spendlove shot just over from 20 yards as Stones pushed forward in search of an elusive equaliser.
The last ten minutes were stretched as Stones threw everything forward, and North had to be alert twice to deny both Wayne Wilson and James Pinnock.
The referee signalled for a generous 5 minutes of added time, and it was towards the end of these that Stones had their best chance of the entire match. Spendlove cut inside and hit a powerful shot from the edge of the box which Turner could only palm into the path of Sean Cronin. Cronin got his shot away quickly, however it was blocked on the line by Margate centre forward Shaun Welford.
It summed up another frustrating night for Stones, who will be looking for their first win of 2011 this coming Saturday at home to Hastings United, kick off 3pm.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Massey (Long 67), Parker, Cronin, Dyer, Spendlove, O’Leary (Gill 36), Ngoyi, Dean, Chappell (c). Subs not used: Worsfold, Lavers, Leggett.
Man of the Match: Jonathan North
By Stuart Warren