Wealdstone 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers
1 - 1
This was easily Stones best performance of the pre-season programme so far and a win by a margin of two or three goals would not have flattered the home side against a strong League One outfit. Gordon Bartlett’s policy this pre-season of consistently playing the majority of his starting eleven rather than the myriad trialists and squad players of last summers experimental strategy seems to be paying real dividends on the evidence of Tuesday night’s performance.
Wealdstone nevertheless did bring in several new faces including Scott McCubbin who had a fine game out wide and Nathan Webb in defence who was with Hayes & Yeading in the Conference last season. Both added skill and slickness to the side and fitted in comfortably.
Wanderers looked the more settled and dangerous in the early stages and former Stones loanee Matt McClure had a decent effort. But Stones soon hit back with a firm strike from Danny Spendlove that was blocked by Chairboys giant keeper Steve Arnold Stones movement and passing was improving all the time and causing problems for the Pro side who looked unsettled particularly in the midfield where David Hicks tenacious tackling and pressing was doing the damage.
But the away side took the lead on 16 minutes when Peter Dean lost possession in the midfield and a sharp counter attack allowed Matt Bloomfield to slot past Jonathan North. From that point on in this entertaining friendly it was all Wealdstone who dominated proceedings and frankly played the better football all over the park with great solidity at the back. It came as no surprise when Stones equalised on the stroke of half time following a break out of defence by Sean Cronin and a great cross into the box by Richard Jolly allowed Hicks to smash the ball past Arnold
The second half at times was a master class in passing by Stones who should have found the net on several occasions but for once marksman Jolly was out of luck although he was within the width of a post with one excellent strike that came on the end of a great following move. Alex Dyer and Peter Dean were also thwarted by Arnold as the home side piled on the pressure.
North saved well from Bloomfield and parity was assured on a night when Stones preparation for the new campaign stepped up some impressive notches.
Wealdstone: North, Webb, Chappell, Parker, Cronin, Dyer, McCubbin, Hicks, Dean, Jolly, Spendlove. Subs used: Brooks, Jordan, Hammond, Wallace, Beardsworth, Massey.