Match Preview – Wealdstone vs Carshalton Athletic – Sat 9th Nov
Wealdstone resume their promotion chase when they welcome struggling Carshalton Athletic to The Vale on Saturday.
A tough week for The Stones saw them cruelly knocked out of the FA Trophy after a midweek replay at Maidstone, one that the Kent club would admit they were fortunate to force in the first place. The absence of cup football will do this Wealdstone side no harm though, as they look to confirm their early season league form over the next couple of weeks with no distractions.
Carshalton head into the game as underdogs, finding themselves two places off the foot of the table and five points adrift from safety. The league’s lowest scorers have though hit a bit of form of late and are unbeaten in four, albeit just one of those in the Ryman Premier.
A two-goal lead at half-time thanks to Tom Hamblin and Scott McGleish looked set to earn Gordon Bartlett’s side an FA Trophy win over Maidstone last weekend. The margin should have been far greater however, and The Stones were made to pay as the visitors fought their way back, earning a late replay in highly controversial circumstances. That replay was played out on Tuesday night, with Maidstone scoring the game’s only goal in second-half stoppage time, after another dominant Stones performance.
Contrastingly, The Robins have booked their place in the next round, after coming from behind to beat Egham Town 2-1. James Ward gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of the break, but second-half efforts from Tommy Bradford and Bobby Price ensured victory for Tommy Williams’ side.
The hosts welcome back Sean Cronin after completing his suspension, but Scott McCubbin and Wes Parker both remain sidelined with injury. Luke Pigden looks set to face his former club.
Wealdstone could move back into the play-off positions if they take maximum points this weekend, and with a couple of games in hand over the majority of the league, can still make a real statement of their quality at this stage of the season. They come up against a struggling, yet in-form Carshalton side playing as well as they have done this season, so it will take another strong performance to ensure maximum points stay at The Vale.
By Matt Desai