Wealdstone 1 – 0 Lewes
1 - 0
Wealdstone secured a massive three points with a crucial win over high flying Lewes in a highly entertaining game at The Vale on Saturday. The margin would have been much greater had it not been for some outstanding goalkeeping by Lewes’ Rikki Banks, the on loan keeper keeping his side in the contest with some outstanding saves.
The home side got off to the perfect start on seven minutes when David Hicks threaded a great through ball to Scott Fitzgerald and the former Watford striker finished brilliantly first time off the outside of his foot to give Stones the early lead.
Wealdstone continued to dominate the half, with Britt Assombalonga spurning a great chance to double his sides lead on 18 minutes; the on loan Watford forward was denied by the alert Banks when one on one. Connor Smith was in commanding form and the speedy youngster was a great influence, winning midfield balls and causing problems for the Rooks all over the park.
Banks excelled again one minute later, diving full stretch to his left to palm away David Hicks curling 20 yard effort, before Michael Malcolm flashed a header over the bar in a rare attack for the visitors.
Stones continued to press as they searched for the elusive second goal with Wes Parker having a great chance to find the net five minutes before the break; however the defender’s stooping header dipped just over.
The second half was a much more even affair, with Fitzgerald sending a dipping 25 yard effort over the bar for Stones, before Lewes substitute Paul Booth saw his driven effort well saved by North who had been a virtual spectator in the first period.
Lewes were now enjoying much greater possession as the half wore on, and Matt Somner could have equalised with 15 minutes to play, heading over from 6 yards out when unmarked. The Rooks continued to press and Harry Harding was then unlucky five minutes later, showing great footwork to jink into the box before hitting a looping effort that was dramatically cleared off the line by defender Sean Cronin.
As the visitors pushed forward in search of a point they were beginning to leave gaps at the back, and this was nearly exploited five minutes from time hen a swift counter attack ended with Kurtney Brooks being thwarted once again by the excellent Banks at point blank range, after Stones had another good enalty shout turned down.
There was one more chance for Stones to grab a second in injury time when Richard Jolly saw his effort crash off the inside of
the post after a smart pass from substitute Peter Dean at the end of what had been a very rewarding afternoon for Wealdstone.
Speaking after the match, Wealdstone manager ordon Bartlett said: “We were excellent in the first half and totally dominated the game but their ‘keeper was outstanding and pulled off five great saves. We showed a lot of character today and it’s a great result against a top side.”
Wealdstone: Jonathan North, James Hammond, Scott McCubbin, Wes Parker ©, Sean Cronin, Kurtney Brooks,
Connor Smith, David Hicks (Nikki Ahamed 86), Scott Fitzgerald (Chris O‘Leary 71), Richard Jolly, Britt Assombalonga (Peter
Dean 86). Subs not used: Alan Massey, Tautis Poniskaitis
Lewes: Rikki Banks, Malvin Kamara, Nic Ciardini, Matt Somner, Steve Robinson, Max Hustwick, Alex Stavrinou, Harry Harding, Michael Malcolm, Albert Jarrett (Paul Booth 64), Christian Nanetti (Ian Draycott 64). Subs not used: Lewis Hamilton
By Stuart Warren