Wealdstone 2 – 0 Harrow Borough
2 - 0
Wealdstone claimed the bragging rights in the Easter Monday derby clash as they overcame near neighbours Harrow Borough 2-0 in front of a season’s best crowd of 841 at The Vale.
Whilst it wasn’t exactly a ‘classic’ encounter like so many of these games over the years, Wealdstone did what was required of them to pick up the points, with goals from Sean Cronin and an own goal from Borough’s Danny Leech being enough to secure another vital three points in their continuing quest for promotion.
There were three changes from the side which had drawn 1-1 at Wingate & Finchley two days before, most notably in goal with Jonathan North reclaiming the number one shirt from Rikki Banks. There were also returns to the starting line up for Kurtney Brooks and Scott McGleish who came in in place of Alex Dyer and Peter Dean.
The opening minutes were typically frenetic for a derby game, and McGleish had a chance to open the scoring with just two minutes on the clock when he flashed a header just over the bar following a sharp cross from Lee Chappell.
At the other end the visitors had their first chance of the afternoon on 17 minutes when Charlie Ofusu-Hene beat James Hammond before drilling the ball just wide from the edge of the box.
Stones were then dealt a blow as Scott McCubbin pulled up a second time with injury, meaning he had to be replaced by Esmond James.
It was quickly turning into a scrappy encounter with the ball often getting caught up in the middle of the park as both sides struggled to get their foot on the ball consistently enough to create chances.
Wealdstone were enjoying more possession though, and they did have a couple of decent efforts from distance with Kurtney Brooks seeing his strike well saved by Ross Fitzsimons, before the lively James curled one just over the bar from 25 yards.
Stones took the lead on 38 minutes. Lee Chappell swung over an awkward looking corner which Fitzsimons failed to deal with and Sean Cronin ghosted in at the far post to head home his fourth goal of the season.
And right on the stroke of half time Wealdstone added a second. A neat interchange down the right hand side resulted in McGleish firing over a cross which Borough defender Danny Leech could only head past his own ‘keeper as he tried to clear.
The visitors worked harder to press Stones down the slope at the beginning of the second half, and Michael Peacock fired a 20 yard effort just wide of the upright five minutes after the restart.
With Borough now forced to have a more attacking outlook, they were starting to leave gaps at the back which Stones worked the flanks to exploit, and Richard Jolly did have the ball in the net on the hour mark following Pett’s excellent cross, but he was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Despite giving it more of a go in the second half, Borough were still not creating any real goal scoring opportunities with the Stones back four defending strongly and in numbers when required.
McGleish had an opportunity to add a third for his side ten minutes before the end when he hit a shot on the turn following a smartly driven cross by substitute Nathan Webb, but his effort flew over the bar.
Borough finally had a chance to set up a grandstand finish in the first minute of added time when James Regis swung over a cross from the right which was headed towards his own goal by Sean Cronin, but luckily for the big Welshman Kurtney Brooks was perfectly positioned to clear off the line.
Next up for Stones is a tough looking trip to Bury Town on Saturday with the return fixture at The Vale the following Tuesday.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Chappell, Cronin, Parker (c), McCubbin (James 17), Brooks, O’Leary, McGleish, Jolly (Moore 88), Pett (Webb 69). Subs not used: Dyer, Banks
Man of the match: Tom Pett
By Stuart Warren