Wealdstone 3-0 Horsham
3 - 0
The main talking point after this ultimately very comfortable victory for Wealdstone was the worrying head injury sustained by in-form striker Greg Ngoyi who had enjoyed another impressive performance along side Scott Fitzgerald on Saturday.
Ngoyi went down after he had bravely collided with Horsham keeper Mark Zawadski as he bore down on goal, allowing Peter Dean to score his second and Stones third goal early in the second half. The referee would almost certainly have awarded a penalty if Dean had not pounced, but the fact that reports after the game indicated that Ngoyi was unaware even that a goal had been scored fully justified the decision to get him to a hospital and seek treatment for suspected concussion.
Although Wealdstone ‘failed’ to reach the highly proactive and energised heights of Monday night’s comprehensive mauling of Tooting, they still easily disposed of a goal shy Hornets side that must have their experienced Manager John Maggs very concerned – the Sussex side have yet to find the net this season.
Nevertheless an unchanged Stones side struggled in the early stages of the first half to get their passing game going and this untidy spell allowed the away side to enjoy some decent possession high up the slope and for a brief spell looked the more threatening, winning several free kicks in the danger areas. Alan Massey and Wes Parker had to be sharp and alert as a couple of fierce shots were well blocked to protect Jonathan North’s goal.
But gradually Stones came into the reckoning as Hornets forward impetus began to wane; Ngoyi served notice when he was unlucky to be caught offside when well placed after 10 minutes play. After the away side hit back and won a corner Stones had a real chance to open the scoring and again it was Greg Ngoyi’s sharp and decisive reactions that brought a good save from Zawadski although the strike was at straight at the stoppers midriff.
The game took on an unnecessarily cynical note when Horsham centre back Ben Andrews was booked for committing an ugly challenge on Chris O’Leary and on another day he could easily have been given a straight red. Andrews was always skating on wafer thin ice and he eventually received his marching orders later in the match.
Ngoyi missed a long range effort after an excellent free kick move orchestrated by Scott Fitzgerald. But the turning point of the half – and possibly of the entire match – came 12 minutes before half time when Allan Tait’s deflected goal bound strike was brilliantly pushed away low down by North.
But in a flash Stones went ahead from a simple but incisive move down the slope. On 38 minutes Greg Ngoyi found himself in space from a flowing move involving a nice flick-on from Peter Dean and the diminutive striker instantaneously smashed the ball past an exposed Zawadski. Five minutes later Stones went further head with a wonderful goal. Fitzgerald calmly fed the ball out to eighteen year old man-of- the-match Kurtney Brooks. The ex Watford midfielder swept in a beautifully flighted cross that begged ‘goal’. Peter Dean was on hand to head powerfully past the now overworked away keeper.
Minutes after the start of the second period Ben Andrews led a charmed life as Referee Chris O’Donnell showed remarkable leniency in choosing to give the robust Hornets defender a stern talking to rather than an early shower as he agriculturally sliced down Ngoyi in full flow.
Stones were now in complete control and rampant; Louis Lavers put in a great free kick that was only tipped just over just before Stones claimed their third and final goal that ended any real attacking endeavour from a dispirited away side that was leaving gaping holes to be exploited at the back. On 52 minutes Greg Ngoyi showed another great turn of pace wide on the right to outstrip his marker and homed in on goal; as he raced into the box Zawadski came out to try to block his progress and the two opponents smashed into a heap. With the ball spinning toward the goal, Peter Dean nipped in to make sure as a defender desperately tried to clear.
Ngoyi manfully signalled to the bench after treatment that he was able to continue but the former Leyton man soon fell to the ground holding his jaw area and came off to be substituted by Danny Burnell. The Hornets afternoon went from bad to worse as the inevitable dispatch of defender Andrews came to pass with 19 minutes to go after an altercation with an increasingly aggravated Fitzgerald who was also booked himself.
Danny Spendlove came on for the hard working Kieron Forbes as Stones looked to consolidate with an eye to a much tougher encounter at Hornchurch on Bank Holiday Monday. Burnell looks a class act but his striking frustrations continued as several decent chances came and went – he must learn not to put too much pressure on himself as the goals will surely flow in time – particularly when he has the opportunity to partner with the player of the quality and experience of Scott Fitzgerald. Stones continued to pile on the pressure in the final minutes and would have expected to convert at least a couple of the many chances that were created – Sub Mark E’Beyer , Fitzgerald and Dean all could have added to the score line.
It is a measure of the standards that Wealdstone have set themselves this season that the players and management felt that whilst happy that three points were won, they know that they are capable of player far better. If that is the case then many sides visiting The Vale will be in for a very tough examination, but these are early days and Manager Gordon Bartlett will be acutely aware of that as a far tougher adversary lays in wait in two days time in the bad lands of Essex.
Wealdstone: North, Lavers, Chappell, Parker, Massey, Brooks, Dean, O’Leary, Ngoyi, Fitzgerald, Forbes. Subs used: Burnell, E’Beyer, Spendlove. N/u: Thomas (GK), Cronin.
MoM: Kurtney Brooks