Wealdstone 3 – 1 Bury Town
3 - 1
Wealdstone cast aside the shadows of Bank Holiday Monday’s woeful performance with a hugely important win – their first of the season – against a strong Bury Town side on Saturday.
Once again, as if in replay of Monday’s game with Wingate, Stones found themselves with the so-called advantage of playing against 10 men when Bury had Kieran Leabon sent off with a straight red card in the first half. And in football’s version of Ground Hog Day Stones again, astonishingly, found themselves a goal down at half time after Bury’s first serious threat on
But in a much improved performance Wealdstone gritted their teeth, dug in, and let their superior football and movement come out on top against a Bury side that displayed surprisingly limited attacking ambition throughout, despite the loss of a player.
Three goals in 12 second half minutes including a brace from Kieran Knight finally nailed the Blues and secured all the points for a mightily relieved Stones.
Stones started with a narrow formation to combat Town’s packed midfield and used Knight up front with Richard Jolly; Wes Parker was named Captain. Bury had the early advantage in possession but lacked penetration. Stones soon looked to get forward with an effective tactic of playing the ball over the top for Jolly to run onto, creating problems for the Blues backline. Knight was unlucky when his powerful shot was blocked by Sam Nunn and Stones were looking sharper with their movement and balls to feet carving out openings.
Roscoe Hipperson headed wide from a corner as the away side pushed forward but it was Stones that were making most of the running with some great link-up play from David Hicks, Scott McCubbin and Alex Dyer through the midfield.
Following some robust aerial challenges from both sides matters heated up considerably when Leabon was sent for an early shower after a blatant elbow on Lee Chappell. Referee David Leach, who had a fine match, had no alternative but to show the red card with 31 minutes gone.
But Stones were rocked 8 minutes later when poor defending from a cross into the box allowed Sam Reed the rare opportunity to get a header on target – and past Jonathan North who was completely exposed at the far post. Stones countered and in the final action of a half they had dominated, skipper Wes Parker saw a goal bound header clawed away by the excellent Marcus Garnham.
Stones showed their attacking intent from the start of the second period playing down the slope; Kieran Knight almost stole in after a rare flap under pressure from Garnham. Jolly’s strike from a super Dyer through ball was straight at the overworked stopper. Parker was offside after finding the net as the momentum was now fully with a determined Wealdstone who sensed that an equaliser was soon to arrive.
David Hicks was upended outside the box but Kurtney Brooks’ accurate free kick was pushed away for a corner. A goal had to come and it finally arrived on 64 minutes. Kieran Knight fired past Garnham after Chappell broke free and his rifled effort was pushed out. The self belief now seemed to flood back and Stones set about winning the match as Town sat deeper
Minutes later Stones took the lead. Substitute Jake Parsons won the ball and motored down the left and his cross eventually found Brooks whose deflected ball into the box was smashed in by Knight.
A tremendous save by Bury’s hero Garnham somehow kept out Jolly but this was the stoppers final action as his painful foot injury forced his substitution. Garnham was sportingly applauded off by the 501 crowd.
Bury now had to come out of their shell as their game plan of getting nine men behind the ball was rendered well and truly redundant. Stones rammed home the advantage on 76 minutes when Alex Dyer majestically side footed past sub goalie Stephen Fenner after the ever lively Jolly had cleverly flicked on.
Stones defended the game out but had a scare late on when Tom Bullard headed just over but Stones fully deserved to savour their first victory and Gordon Bartlett’s massive grin as he walked off to warm applause said it all.
Generous applause too for the match officials as they exited the pitch; they had excelled throughout, and had contributed very positively to a successful Non League Day at The Vale.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell, Parker, Massey, Dyer, McCubbin, Brooks, Knight, Jolly, Hicks. Subs used: Parsons. N/u: Cronin, Dean, Spendlove, O’Regan,
MoM: Kieran Knight