Wealdstone 2 – 0 Canvey Island
2 - 0
A well taken double from Richard Jolly saw Wealdstone run out 2-0 winners in front of an 803 crowd to secure 3rd place in the final league game of season, setting up a mouth watering home tie with Concord Rangers in the playoff semi -final on Wednesday night.
There were two changes from side which had drawn 0-0 with Lowestoft in the week; Wes Parker and Tom Pett were both missing through injury, so in came Darren Locke and Richard Jolly, with the latter partnering Chris Moore up front as Manager Gordon Bartlett reverted back to a more familiar 4-4-2 formation.
It was the visitors who had the first chance of the afternoon with just three minutes on the clock when big defender Cliff Akurang saw his acrobatic overhead kick sail just wide of the post.
At the other end
Stones were then dealt a blow on nine minutes when a late challenge from Tommy Kavanagh on Scott McCubbin resulted in the Wealdstone man having to withdraw with what was later confirmed as ankle ligament damage.
The home side were now starting to have the better of the play, Alex Dyer picking out
The Gulls had their first effort on target nine minutes before the break when Kavanagh tried his luck with a vicious effort from 25 yards which was beaten away by Rikki Banks.
Stones looked to take advantage of a strong wind behind them in the second half, and they almost took the lead just two minutes after the restart when Lee Chappell got down the left before firing over a cross to the far post where Elliot Godfrey was just unable to make enough contact to turn the ball home.
Wealdstone struck on 50 minutes. Godfrey swung over a corner which was flicked on by Peter Dean to the waiting Jolly who made no mistake as he turned the ball home from close range in what was a trademark effort from the veteran striker.
Jolly came close to adding a second on 67 minutes when Dyer’s mishit shot found its way into the path of the Wealdstone number 10, however he could only fire wide from an acute angle.
The second arrived two minutes later; Jolly again demonstrating the intelligence and awareness which has made him one of the top non-league strikers over the years as he chased down a short back-header from Richard Orlu before finishing smartly first time past the onrushing Jones.
Overall a comfortable afternoon for Wealdstone against a Canvey side with nothing to play for, although they did have a chance to make for an interesting finish in the final minute when the ball dropped to Bradley Woods-Garness, but he could only fire wide.
Next up for Wealdstone is the huge play-off semi final tie on Wednesday night (May 1st) as we welcome
PLEASE NOTE THIS MATCH IS ALL PAY (Adults £10 – Concession £5) AND SEASON TICKETS CANNOT BE USED.
Man of the match: Richard Jolly
By Stuart Warren