Wealdstone 2 – 3 Crewe Alexandra

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KO: 19:30 | Mon 1st Aug ’11
Ball Sponsor(s): Paul Byrne

Wealdstone continued their pre-season preparations with a useful workout against a youthful   Crewe Alexandra side on Monday evening. Despite letting slip a two goal lead, there were again many positives to take from this game, and Stones fans will be impressed with the football their side is producing.

The game started with both sides moving the ball around quickly on an excellent playing surface, and a swift passing move from Stones resulted in Danny Spendlove drilling the ball across from the right hand side where Crewe ‘keeper Alan Martin could only parry the ball into the path of David Hicks, whose powerful goal bound effort was blocked by Danny Ting.

The home side then took the lead on 13 minutes. Alex Dyer won possession in the middle of the park and the ball broke to Kieran Knight. The experienced striker then threaded the ball through to Richard Jolly who took a touch before finishing smartly off the outside of his boot.

The front pairing of Jolly and Knight was certainly linking up well, and some great play from Knight nearly saw Jolly through again only for Jordan Rose to intercept. Knight then had a chance of his own after Spendlove had won the ball, Alex Dyer picked it up and found Knight who just hesitated for a moment inside the box, allowing Rose come across and intercept. Nathan Webb was certainly enjoying a solid game at right back, and some superb play from him nearly saw Stones increase their lead in spectacular fashion on 36 minutes. Webb played a neat one two with Scott McCubbin down the right hand side before going past Crewe’s Danny Ting with ease. He then sent over a dangerous cross to Jolly who met it with an acrobatic effort which crashed off the outside of the post.

The second half began with Stones again on the front foot, and McCubbin managed to break away down the right hand side before finding Spendlove at the back post with a great ball. The winger took a touch before seeing his effort blocked en route to goal. Crewe then came close when Stones failed to clear their lines properly, and the ball broke to Ajay Leitch-Smith who fired a low effort onto the post with North well beaten. An uncharacteristic slip from Webb then presented Kyle Vassell with a chance; however his effort was easily gathered by North. Despite all the neat football they had been playing, it was the simplest of moves which saw Wealdstone increase their lead on 56 minutes. Dyer played a long ball forward from the back which found Knight and the former Maidenhead striker was able to hold off his man before side footing past Martin.A well worked set piece saw Crewe pull one back almost immediately though. Vassell shaped to shoot from a free kick, instead opting to lay the ball into the channel for Leith-Smith whose cross found Darren Sarcevic at the far post. The Crewe midfielder didn’t need to take a touch, smashing the ball in on the volley first time.

The league Two side were then level just two minutes later. Lee Chappell was caught napping at the back allowing substitute Michael Korel to square the ball to Vassell who made no mistake from close range. The game was now being played at a lightning pace, and Stones almost regained the lead instantly. Webb managed to get in behind the full back where he was able to cross to Spendlove. Spendlove hit the ball first time, making a good connection however Martin showed great reflexes to palm the ball away.

Martin then did well to keep out McCubbin on 75 minutes, when the midfielders cross – shot nearly caught him out, however he managed to recover just in time, fisting the ball away to safety. Both sides then had chances to take the lead in the final ten minutes, with Chappell having to be alert to block an effort from Max Clayton, and then Kurtney Brooks hitting a powerful effort from distance just wide. Wealdstone substitute Jake Parsons then nearly grabbed a late winner, skipping past two defenders on the outside of the box; his finish though lacked power. It was the visitors however who snatched a winner very late on though. A ball to the far post was chested into the path of Brendon Daniels by George Ray, with the former bundling the ball home from close range.

Wealdstone: North, Webb, Chappell, Parker, Massey, Dyer, McCubbin, Hicks, Knight, Jolly, Spendlove. Subs used: Locke, Parsons, Brooks, Fitzgerald, Lumsden.

By Stuart Warren