Match Preview – Wealdstone vs Leiston – Sat 23rd Nov
In-form Wealdstone welcome Leiston to The Vale on Saturday, hoping to record their fourth straight league victory. The Stones have suffered defeat just once in their last seven games in all competitions, winning five, and another three points at the weekend would add further fuel to their title credentials.
They come up against a struggling Leiston side currently sitting in eighteenth position in the league table, having won only once in their last six, and were beaten at home by their high-flying opponents in the FA Trophy last month. Three goals in the final twenty-five minutes ensured Wealdstone recorded their first double of the season last week when they took on Cray Wanderers. Scott McGleish picked up his tenth and eleventh goals of the season, either side of captain Sean Cronin’s penalty.
Leiston were held at home to a 2-2 draw with Billericay in their match last weekend. The Blues led by a single goal at the break thanks to Gareth Heath’s effort inside the first minute, but the tables eventually turned and with fifteen minutes to go the visitors had got themselves in front. Joe Francis came to his side’s rescue in the final stages though, rescuing the Suffolk-outfit a valuable point.
Leiston should certainly not be underestimated and will carry a new threat up front with the recent signing of experienced striker Simon Thomas captured from rivals Canvey Island and has looked very sharp. There are no fresh injury concerns for Gordon Bartlett’s men and they continue without Wes Parker and Scott McCubbin, who remain on the treatment table. Meanwhile Jack Hutchinson has dual signed with Beaconsfield SYCOB while he awaits an op on his troublesome shoulder injury. Striker Lewis Putman has received good news following his long awaited op and he will be able to start training early in the New Year.
Wealdstone currently lie just five points off the summit of the Ryman Premier League and boast three games in hand over the leaders. It’s vital that the Stones continue to pick up points and carry momentum into each week, and three more against Leiston on Saturday will very much be the order of the day. As ever, though, Stones can expect a very tough battle.
By Matt Desai