Canvey Island 2 – 0 Wealdstone
2 - 0
Wealdstone’s poor away record continued as they were well beaten by promotion rivals Canvey Island on a miserable night for the visitors in Essex.
With the wind and rain lashing down at The Prospects Stadium, it was the home side who adapted to the difficult conditions far better, and in truth Wealdstone never really looked like getting anything against a Canvey team who have become a ‘bogey side’ for them in recent seasons.
There was a place in the starting line up for new signing Michael Alaile who slotted in at centre back following his signing, having recently been released by Margate. There was also a debut for Elliot Godfrey who has signed from Staines Town.
It was Stones who had the first chance of the evening on 5 minutes when Chris Moore laid off Alex Dyer whose 20 yards effort was beaten away by Ashlee Jones in the Canvey goal.
Elliot Godfrey was next to come close for Stones on the quarter hour mark, as it was the visitors who made the brighter start, with the former Staines man curling a 25 yards free kick over the bar after Lee Chappell had been brought down.
Canvey had their first chance of the evening a minute later when Bradley Woods-Garness burst into the box before hitting a vicious effort which Rikki Banks did well to tip over the bar.
After the fairly lively opening, chances were few and far between as the half wore on as both sides seemingly struggled to get to grips with the difficult conditions.
It was perhaps no surprise that the opening goal was a scrappy one as the home side took the lead on 33 minutes. Ashley Dumas swung over a free kick from the left hand side which Banks could only fumble with Richard Orlu on hand to slam home the loose ball.
Wealdstone were failing to create any chances, and it was the home side who looked more likely to score, with Harrison Chatting volleying just wide following Jay Curran’s knock down as Canvey looked to double their lead.
Stones did create a chance at the other end right on the stroke of half time, with Esmond James embarking on a great jinking run into the box before he was thwarted by a superb one handed save from former Stones ‘keeper Jones.
The home side came close to a second ten minutes after the restart, with Woods-Garness hitting a shot from 20 yards which Banks saved low down to his left, with Chatting crashing an effort against the bar with the follow up.
Stones made their first change of the evening just before the hour mark, with Leon Smith coming on in place of Chris O’Leary.
The visitors then had their best chance of the half on 61 minutes; Alex Dyer threading an inch perfect ball through to Moore who found himself one on one, but Jones was once again equal to his effort.
The miss proved costly as Canvey doubled their advantage on 66 minutes. Dumas swung over a corner which was cleverly flicked on by Rickie Hayles into the path of Orlu who was able to fire home his second of the night.
Stones looked out of contention after the second, as Canvey looked to add some gloss to the scoreline.
Only the outstretched foot of Banks denied Curran on 73 minutes as he ran clear after being put through by Woods-Garness before Banks came to the rescue once more five minutes later as the two combined yet again, this time Curran picking out Woods-Garness who perhaps should have done better when well placed.
A defensive mix up on 80 minutes then saw Curran presented with another great chance, but he could only drag his shot wide with Banks in no-man’s land.
All in all it was a depressing night for Wealdstone and they will need to pick themselves up quickly for Saturday’s eagerly anticipated derby at Enfield Town.
Wealdstone: Banks, Hammond, Chappell (c), Alaile, Cronin (Webb 68), Dyer, James (Dean 68), O’Leary (Smith 58), Moore, Godfrey, Pett. Subs not used: Brooks, Parker
Attendance: 222 (Wealdstone 50)
Report by Stuart Warren