Match Preview – Wealdstone vs Grays Athletic @ The Vale Sat 26th Oct

Wealdstone return to league action on Saturday when they welcome Grays Athletic to The Vale. The Stones will be hoping to record their first Ryman Premier victory since mid-September, after a couple of weeks of cup action. 

Since winning each of their first four games of the campaign, The Gravelmen have faded slightly in recent weeks, but last years’ Ryman North champions sit comfortably in ninth and have only suffered defeat on three occasions this season.  

In a busy month, Gordon Bartlett’s side were beaten by a single Margate goal in their last league outing, but overcame a disappointing FA Cup loss to run out 3-0 winners against Leiston in the FA Trophy last weekend. Scott McGleish struck moments before the interval, with Glen Little and Tom Pett sealing the win in the second-half.  Grays also progressed to the next stage after beating Herne Bay at the second time of asking. After being held to a 1-1 draw at home to the Ryman South side, the Essex-outfit clinched a 2-1 victory in the replay on Tuesday.  

Wealdstone will have to be wary of Grays’ danger man Joao Carlos, the Portuguese winger has netted four goals in seven appearances this season. Gordon Bartlett should have a fully fit squad to choose from, although Sean Cronin begins his three-match suspension.  

After such a positive start to the season, the last few weeks have been nothing if not frustrating for The Stones. Unable to build any real momentum due to a busy cup schedule, a return to the bread and butter of league football will be welcomed by all at The Vale, and three points are vitally important to regain that early season optimism.

By Matt Desai