Enfield Town 2 – 4 Wealdstone
2 - 4
Wealdstone’s magnificent unbeaten run continued on Boxing Day at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium with another superb battling performance that also saw them gain their fourth back to back win to consolidate their table topping position.
The game was not without some heart stopping moments for the Stones as they withstood some intense late pressure from the Towners who had pulled the score line back to 2-3 from a seemingly unassailable 0-3 deficit with 20 minutes remaining. Tom Pett calmed the nerves with a cool finish in added time to make sure of maximum points.
In the build up to this contest Stones’ Scott McGleish had made his intentions clear; he was out for ‘revenge’ following his recent and perhaps surprisingly unsuccessful application for the Manager’s position at Enfield that went instead to George Borg. And the ageless striker was determined to make his point very clearly to the Enfield bench and home officials when celebrating his second goal in a lethal display of finishing in the first half and selfless running all match.
But this was another excellent all round team performance from Wealdstone that whilst looking a little festively charitable at times nevertheless kept their shape throughout and always looked dangerous on the counter attack in a typically highly effective formation.
Town looked like a team in transition with several new decent signings yet to bed in and were threatening in patches showing admirable pace at times but were always vulnerable in the back division. Wealdstone had one change from Saturday and it was a significant one in that Glen Little was rested with a persistent back problem and in came Scott McCubbin who did a fine job in the midfield.
The home side started the livelier showing good pace from Tyler Campbell and won an early free kick in a useful central position. Jonathan North did well to push the ball out and to eventual safety. But Stones soon got into their stride and took the lead after only 6 minutes play. Jonny Wright picked up a loose ball from a defensive slip up and bore down on goal and his excellent cross was unerringly slid home by an energetic and gleeful Scott McGleish at the far post.
But Town hit back and looked to get back into the contest quickly, demonstrating some good pace across the middle and flanks urged on by their vociferous new Manager. After absorbing home pressure, Stones attack was more measured and accurate when it came and McGleish was close again from a decent Tom Pett cross on the 20 minute mark. McGleish’s determination in the tackle earned him a booking but he soon had the last laugh when he helped himself to a second goal on 34 minutes. A super ball put the veteran striker in and he needed no invitation to rifle past ‘keeper Noel Imber for 2-0 and he proceeded to make his point.
The goal rocked the home side whose control and passing went awry before half time. Stones should have made it three before the break but Pett’s effort just lacked sufficient pace to get past Imber who got down well.
Stones were untroubled in the early part of the second period and in a moment of pure magic the astonishingly athletic McGleish embarrassed a home defender half his age by pushing the ball past him and then sprinting around him like the Road Runner. Further fantastic play from the indefatigable McGleish resulted in Wealdstone’s third goal. His persistence won the ball out wide and Luke Pigden’s excellent cross found Pett who flicked expertly past an exposed Imber.
That seemingly was that as Stones were cruising. But it palpably wasn’t as Enfield grabbed a lifeline from a scramble after a corner – Liam Hope with the goal on 69 minutes and suddenly it literally gave them hope as they suddenly bombarded North’s goal with high balls and crosses. And when Town’s new signing Bertie Brayley volleyed past North with two minutes of normal time remaining the alarm bells really started to ring. Substitute Bobson Balling then conceded a free kick in a dangerous position as Borg exhorted his troops to push forward in numbers.
But this tactic came undone with a couple of minutes of added time remaining. Bawling, not interfering with play, ran back to an on side position with Stones suddenly free on the break. Tom Pett was put in the clear, ran on, and cool as the proverbial cucumber jinked past Imber to make certain of the points – and to some relief from his team mates and the travelling Stones masses.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Okimo, Hamblin, Cronin ©, Godfrey, McCubbin, Pigden, McGleish, Wright, Pett. Sub used: Bawling. N/u: Dean, Moore, Little, Siva.
Attendance: 591 (250 Wealdstone)
By Nick DuGard