East Thurrock United 0 – 2 Wealdstone
0 - 2
Wealdstone produced a purposeful and professional performance in deepest Essex on Tuesday evening and were rewarded with another hugely important three points in their intensifying battle to gain promotion this campaign. The prospect of a long trip around a congested M25 against a strong, physical East Thurrock side on a cold, damp evening is unlikely to set the pulses racing but this Wealdstone side have shown time and again that they have both the appetite and the desire to slog it out and produce when it is most needed.
Goals from Peter Dean and skipper Wes Parker secured the win with both players in a rich vein of goal scoring form at present. The vital away win – Stones fourth of the season – maintained the nine point gap from long term leaders Whitehawk who also won on the night, but, significantly Wealdstone opened up a six point advantage over third placed Canvey Island.
Stones started brightly and soon had the Rocks under pressure with Tom Pett wriggling free only to fire over. Lee Chappell was causing problems for the home rearguard and his well executed cross from the left found Peter Dean who could only head straight into the path of keeper Elliot Justham. Sean Cronin headed onto the woodwork from a corner as Stones looked to gain an early breakthrough but were frustrated when Richard Jolly’s ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside. But on 36 minutes, the away side’s pressure finally told when the in form Dean broke free and put a clean strike past Justham from 10 yards out.
Stones picked up where they left off after the break and continued to harry the Rocks defence at every opportunity. Just 5 minutes into the second half Parker doubled the away side’s lead as he turned smartly and fired in with his left foot from close range after good work from Chris O’Leary. A great passing move saw Kurtney Brooks fire over as East Thurrock battled back to try to gain a foothold with some physical play but Stones solid defence held firm restricting their efforts to long range strikes that rarely troubled Rikki Banks.
Stones withheld some late pressure from the home side but saw out the game with some comfort to record another vitally important win on the road.
Wealdstone: Banks, Alaile, Chappell, Parker, Cronin, Dyer, Brooks, O’Leary, Dean, Jolly, Pett. Sub used: James. Other subs: Webb, Moore, Godfrey, North(GK)
Attendance: 117 (Wealdstone 40)
By Nick DuGard