Margate 2 – 4 Wealdstone
2 - 4
A superb performance from Wealdstone on Tuesday night saw them pick up a huge win against a playoff chasing and in form Margate side.
The victory was made all the more significant as both Concord Rangers and Whitehawk both dropped points meaning Wealdstone now sit in 3rd place, 11 points behind the leaders but with four games in hand.
Wealdstone’s back four had to be re-shaped with Wes Parker suspended and Scott McCubbin being unavailable meant there was a rare start for James Hammond at right back, as well as a first appearance of the season for Darren Locke in the heart of the defence. There was also a debut for new signing Scott McGleish who partnered Peter Dean in attack following his transfer from Enfield Town.
Jonathan North retained his place between the sticks with Rikki Banks named as substitute goalkeeper.
But Stones got off to the worst possible start in this crunch match as lax defending saw them fall behind with just three minutes on the clock. Vines made space on the left hand side before swinging over a cross which was nodded into the path of Ibe who made no mistake as he headed home from close range.
The visitors looked to respond immediately, and Tom Pett tried his luck with a long range effort which flew well over the bar.
McGleish was no doubt keen to make an impression on his first start, and he had a great chance on ten minutes when he headed just over following a great cross from the right by Hammond.
Lee Chappell then came even closer a couple of minutes later when he saw his effort crash back off the outside of the post.
An equaliser eventually came on 25 minutes when McGleish picked out the impressive Pett on the corner of the box who curled a delightful effort into the top corner.
After the disastrous start Stones were now brimming with confidence, and they took the lead five minutes before the break with the combination of Pett and McGleish working to good effect once again. A pinpoint through ball was played to McGleish, with the former Colchester United man expertly dummying it into the path of Pett who made no mistake as he slammed the ball into the bottom corner to ensure Stones took a 2-1 lead into the break.
Much like the first half, the home side began the second the quicker of the two sides with Matt Bodkin firing just over straight after the restart.
The equaliser came for Gate on 55 minutes when Whitnell slotted home following good work from Ibe, although he appeared to be in an offside position but after the referee conferred with his assistant the goal was given.
The sides were level for a mere six minutes though as Wealdstone dramatically regained the lead when Bodkin put through his own net after Chappell had powerfully driven the ball across the box following good work by the industrious Peter Dean.
And it got better for Stones as one minute later it was 4-2; McGleish capping a fine debut with his first goal for the club when he was first to a loose ball in the box to send a looping header over the Margate ‘keeper.
The home side desperately tried to fight their way back into the match, but Wealdstone were working hard defensively and were able to keep the Gate threat to a minimum.
With other results going their way, it turned out to be a very productive evening for Stones who can now look forward to Thursday night’s massive home encounter with fellow promotion chasers Concord Rangers, 7.45 kick off.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell (c), Locke, Cronin, Dyer, Webb, Brooks, McGleish, Dean, Pett. Sub used: Jolly. N/u: Banks, Godfrey, James, Vilou
Attendance: 236 (Wealdstone: 45)