Wealdstone 0-1 Cray Wanderers
0 - 1
Stones succumbed to their third straight league defeat on Monday night as a lacklustre performance saw them go down 1-0 to Cray Wanderers. Despite a bright opening few minutes, they fell behind on the brink of half time and never really recovered, only having two efforts on goal in the second half.
After Saturday’s disappointing defeat against Concord Rangers, Stones Manager Gordon Bartlett was able to welcome back a number of first teamers, most notably defenders Alan Massey and Sean Cronin, as well as skipper Lee Chappell who returned from suspension.
Before kickoff there was a minutes silence in memory of midfielder Danny Spendlove’s father who tragically passed away earlier in the day. The club send their condolences to Danny and his family during this sad time.
Wealdstone began the game a lot brighter than they had on Saturday, and Kurtney Brooks fired over after just three minutes following some good work from Nikki Ahamed.
Ahamed was certainly looking bright in the opening few minutes, and he played a great through ball to Gavin Massey who rounded the keeper, however he just overran the ball.
Cray goalkeeper Dave King then seemed to have a rush of blood to the head which nearly cost his side on 14 minutes. Brooks pumped a long ball forward and King rushed off his line just beating Gavin Massey to the ball, knocking it out for a thrown, however Massey took the throw quickly find Peter Dean whose shot on the turn flew just wide with King scrambling to get back.
After the opening fifteen minutes, the chances were few and far between for both sides, with Cray having to wait until 39thminute for their first effort on goal when Mark Willy was left unmarked following a free kick, however his header lacked any real pace or direction.
On the stroke of half time the lively Nikki Ahamed nearly gave his side with a curling effort from the edge of the box with flew just wide of the upright.
It was Cray who did take a one goal lead into the break though, when Laurent Hamici cut inside from the left hand side and fired a superb right footed effort into the far corner which gave Jonathan North no chance.
There was one change at half time for Wealdstone with Alex Dyer, who has been struggling with an injury for the past week, being replaced by exciting youngster Eddie Adjei.
The goal on the stroke of half time had obviously given Cray a confidence boost, and they twice came close to extended the lead in the first few minutes of the half, first of all North denied Ross Lover with a brilliant one handed save, and then from the resultant corner Willy headed just over.
North did well again on 62 minutes to deny Hamici a second goal, rushing off his line to block the striker’s shot, before diving bravely on the loose ball.
Stones had to wait until the 80th minute for their first chance of the half, when Gavin Massey threaded the ball through to Peter Dean whose close range effort was well blocked by King.
The final minute of the match saw a corner for Wealdstone, which ‘keeper Jonathan North came forward for. Chappell’s high corner eventually found its way to North who managed to get a header on target; however it lacked any real pace.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell (c), A. Massey, Cronin, Dyer (Adjei 46), Ahamed, Brooks, G. Massey, Dean, C. Martin (P. Martin 79). Subs not used: Thomas, Duncan, Hariely
By Stuart Warren