Hanworth Villa 0-2 Wealdstone
0 - 2
Wealdstone signed off their season in style on Monday night, winning their first piece of silverware for seven years by beating Combined Counties Premier side Hanworth Villa to lift the Middlesex Charity Cup.
In extremely blustery conditions at Hayes and Yeading’s Church Road ground, both sides were failing to find any real rhythm in the opening moments; however it was Wealdstone who came closest to opening the scoring in the first 10 minutes when Callum Martin’s cross was almost headed into his own net by Villa defender Steve Loveridge.
With Peter Dean missing this game due to a groin injury, Wealdstone’s front pairing of Callum Martin and Danny Spendlove were struggling to make any impact as Villa were doing a good job of cutting out the service and restricting them to efforts from distance, the best of these being a low shot from the edge of the box by Martin which flew just wide.
Hanworth seemed to gain a bit more confidence as the half wore on, with Jimmy Major trying his luck with a volley from 25 yards which went just wide, before Lawrence Shennan perhaps should have done better ten minutes before half time, heading over when unmarked from a corner.
With half time looming, Hanworth had one more chance to take the lead in added on time. A long punt forward saw Levi King chasing the loose ball, and although Stones ‘keeper Jonathan North got there first, he failed to make a decent connection with the ball which luckily for him went behind for a corner.
Manager Gordon Bartlett opted for a change in tactics at half time; with centre back Sean Cronin being pushed up front in a bid to pose more of an aerial threat in and around the box.
The second half began with Wealdstone looking to make the most of having the strong wind behind them, and it took just seven minutes for them to take the lead. Danny Spendlove was chopped down following a mazy run about 25 yards from goal, and from the resultant free kick Alex Dyer’s arrowed ball into the box evaded everyone and ended up floating into the top corner.
The goal appeared to give Stones a lift, and they began to play a lot more freely with Callum Martin coming close to doubling the lead three minutes later, firing just wide from the edge of the box.
Hanworth were then nearly handed a passage back into the game on 59 minutes, when an uncharacteristic slip from Wes Parker gifted Levi King the ball; however Parker recovered well to make a decent challenge as the forward looked to pull the trigger.
Wealdstone then added a second with twenty minutes left to play. The impressive Nikki Ahamed, who was later named man of the match, cut back inside on the right wing and fired over a left footed cross which was powerfully headed home by Cronin.
The goal seemed to kill of any hopes Hanworth had of a comeback; however they had done well to match Wealdstone throughout and will no doubt be pleased with their team’s work rate.
Stones were able to see the rest of the game out comfortably, and were presented with the trophy at the end of the game, cheered on by a decent sized crowd of 380.
The game brought the curtain down on what had been a mixed season for Stones, who now have two months off before the start of pre-season and then another assault on the Ryman League.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Massey, Parker, Cronin, Dyer, Ahamed, Brooks, C. Martin (Adjei 71), Spendlove (P. Martin 75), Chappell (c). Subs not used: Leggett, Locke.
Man of the match: Nikki Ahamed
By Stuart Warren