Bury Town 0 – 1 Wealdstone
0 - 1
Wealdstone gained their fifth successive league win of this campaign at Ram Meadow on Saturday and in the process moved up to second in the Ryman Premier Table, one point behind leaders Kingstonian. Tom Pett scored Stones goal early in the first half, his third of the campaign.
This was Stones’ most complete all round team performance to date with their shape and cohesiveness of a high order preventing Bury from serious attempts on goal for virtually the entire 90 minutes play. This display was made all the more creditable as Stones’ were missing three defenders due to injury and unavailability; teenager Orlando Rodrigues was called in from the reserves, whilst skipper Wes Parker was given a welcome start despite his persistent groin injury.
In the event the back line performed brilliantly with Rodrigues seamlessly slotting in at left back with sensible ball release to his more experienced team mates, whilst big Welshman Sean Cronin was outstanding at centre half.
The only real concern for Wealdstone in this Non League Day match, played in front of an inflated crowd of 737, was that they couldn’t add to the score which created a few nerves as the game progressed.
Stones launched into the attack from the start forcing the Blues to defend in depth with Scott McGleish going close. But after Blues finally broke out and Jonathan North saved comfortably, Wealdstone took the lead on 9 minutes. The effervescent Tom Pett seized the ball nipping in between defenders and got clear on goal with only Blues ‘keeper Marcus Garnham to beat. The experienced home stopper managed to push to ball away on the ground but, quick as a flash, Pett turned and lofted the ball into the net from his left foot.
The hard working Stefan Bailey was booked for a challenge on Jordon Patrick but Stones play was patient, assured and effective with the midfield dominating through Glen Little’s timing and space creation whilst Bailey’s engine kept the home side under constant pressure.
Bury’s counter attacking tactics whilst quick off the mark foundered on Stones defensive wall and midfield hassling. Stones ended the half with a chance from a corner; Cronin’s powerful header was hacked off the line.
The second half continued in much the same vein with the away side calling the shots and Town defending with sporadic counter attacks. Bury’s best chance of the match came when John Sands looked to have got free in the area but when he shaped to get his shot away Wes Parker intervened with a full bloodied but clean challenge that blocked the effort brilliantly. Frustration within the home side became evident when their foul rate escalated and Patrick went into the book. McGleish’s tireless chasing won him the ball from Garnham and when it broke free wide out on the flank Bailey tried an audacious lob that was just wide of the mark.
On 60 minutes, with the 170 away support cooing, Glen Little went on a rampaging run that should have resulted in a goal but Garnham was alert enough to block his shot and then Pett struck the post from an equally excellent run. Bury’s parting response was a decent strike off target from David Bridges but it was too little to late.
Stones brought on all their subs late on and ran the clock down but there was no sense of hanging on and they dominated to the final whistle.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Rodrigues, Parker, Cronin, Godfrey, Little, Bailey, McGleish, Moore, Pett. Subs used: Martin, Grant, Dean. Not used: Hutchinson, Haxhia (GK)
By Nick DuGard