Report: Weston-super-Mare 1 – 2 Wealdstone
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Wealdstone stretched their winning run to eight games and moved up to ninth in the table after a gritty 2-1 victory against a talented Weston-Super-Mare side at Woodspring Stadium.
Goals from Joe White and Elliott Godfrey cancelled out Dayle Grubb’s first half goal.
Gordon Bartlett named another unchanged eleven with the only changes coming on the subs bench. Billy Gibson and Alex Lafleur replaced Jonny Wright and Wes Parker.
The Stones started the game in the ascendancy with the Seagulls keeper Luke Purnell pulling off a string of impressive saves within the first 20 minutes.
His first came when he was caught outside of his area to deny White; Aryan Tajbakhsh then collected his clearance and shot toward goal but the keeper made an innovative save with his head.
He then twice denied White, once from close range and then from a header, before somehow holding onto a Godfrey thunderbolt after the keeper initially flapped at a corner.
Stoppages in play with injuries to Sam Cox and the referee Andrew Laver upset the Stones momentum and the home side’s possession dominating football began to bear fruit with goal scoring chances.
Jacob Cane got the better of Jonathan North, only to be denied by Tom Hamblin on the goal-line.
They took the lead on 32 minutes when Grubb ran through the Stones area unchallenged to slot past North, with the effort taking a slight deflection. It was the first goal the Stones have conceded on the road since their 2-1 FA Trophy victory over Southport mid-January.
The game took a bizarre turn immediately after with the referee succumbing to his injury and replaced by one of his assistants, resulting in a desperate plea over the tannoy to find a new FA qualified linesman. After 12 minutes a spectator and, fortunately, a qualified official in the stadium stepped forward and the game resumed.
Wealdstone were immense in the second half and White got his second goal in as many games when he toe poked in a Tajbakhsh cross through a crowd of bodies.
Manager Gordon Bartlett praised his side’s “grit, resilience and energy” after the match and it was those three qualities that epitomised Godfrey’s winner.
Played through by Danny Green, the Canadian midfielder twice lost control of the ball on the edge of the area before retrieving off Jake Lee to poke the ball past Purnell and send the away fans into raptures.
This rattled the home side and they mounted a desperate response with Bradley Ash latching onto a long ball, he rounded North only to hit his shot into the side-netting. Ash also saw his 89th minute header hit the crossbar leaving the travelling Stones fans with very little fingernails.
But Wealdstone weathered the heavy pressure and moved up to ninth in the table, level on points with eighth placed St Albans City who were recently in the title race.
WEALDSTONE: North, Oshodi, Brown, Mavila, Hamblin, Godfrey (McGleish 90), Green, Cox, White, Wellard, Tajbakhsh Subs not used: Lafleur, Gibson, Walker, Koroma
By Chris Woods