Havant & Waterlooville 1- 2 Wealdstone
1 - 2
Wealdstone produced their most complete performance of the season at Havant on Saturday with a progressive attacking performance in the first half and a very solid rear guard action in the second. The only real negative in this hugely gutsy first league away win was the 77th minute sending off of the dependable Elliott Godfrey.
Godfrey now faces a three match ban starting in two weeks’ time and will represent a big loss for Stones midfield engine.
Wealdstone have quietly improved over the past month and this victory sees them on an unbeaten run now stretching as far back as 31st August. But this match finally showed what Gordon Bartlett later described as ‘ real backbone’ with all players fully contributing to secure a massive three points – particularly important when none of the other bottom teams could muster a victory between them, moving Stones up to 16th in Vanarama National League South table.
The Hawks conversely are on a poor run of form currently and their lack of composure in front of goal was only too obvious for the onlooker to see. The home side squandered a couple of early chances but were also facing a very much in-form Jonathan North who produced several smart saves including a notable effort from Ben Swallow.
Stones had attacked intelligently on the break and made the breakthrough on 19 minutes. A great cross from the menacing Shaun Lucien was put back into the area and a totally unmarked Bradley Hudson-Odoi gleefully finished though keeper Brian Young’s legs.
North was then back in action with a superb save from former Stone Scott Donnelly, but Stones kept their shape and looked to hit back to press home the advantage. Six minutes before the break, Hudson-Odoi set up Jefferson Louis who pounced on Young’s spilled save to net Stones second at a crucial point of the contest.
Stones then rolled up their sleeves and defended stoically in a tough second period as Hawks pressed hard to pull something back. The solid back line of Dale Binns, Wes Parker, Tom Hamblin and Josh Urquhart repelled everything thrown at them but Godfrey’s sending off inevitably ratcheted up the pressure.
On 89 minutes the home side finally pulled a goal back when Paterson’s effort was diverted past a for once helpless North. This could have set up a nail biting finale but Stones saw the game out comfortably even with the added four minutes.
Wealdstone now face a huge 4th Qualifying FA Cup tie this coming Saturday, 24th October when an in-form Bognor Regis Town of the Ryman Premier League come to The Vale.
Make sure you are there!
Wealdstone: North, McLeod- Urquhart, Binns, Parker, Hamblin, Godfrey, Lucien (Hutchinson 76), Lowe, Louis (Corcoran 90), Ball, Hudson-Odoi (Davies 83). Subs not used: McGleish, Malone (GK)
Steve Foster Pics HERE
By Nick DuGard