"It's difficult for anyone to beat us," said Barker
Jack Cook secured the victory for Wealdstone with an injury-time winner, but Charlie Barker gave his defensive partner the platform to emerge as the hero.
He made two potentially goal-saving interceptions in the first half and a third in the second half to ensure the Stones were still in the game before the late, late show.
“I didn’t think we started off great,” said Barker, the defender on loan from Charlton. “I think the change of shape helped massively when we went to a back four. We looked a lot more comfortable they didn’t have a chance after that. They dominated the ball and the first goal set us off and we were on the front foot after that.
“They had a lot of set pieces in that first half. They scored from their first corner and after that I think we dug it out really well and in the second half as well. In the last 15 to 20 minutes, they had a few long throws, we were under the cosh a bit and defended well, we got first contact on pretty much everything in our box.”
Barker is now part of a defence that have just conceded a solitary goal in their last three games, and alongside fellow teenager Miguel Freckleton, the tough-tackling defender has become key to the Stones’ backline. It is rare to see one, let alone two teenagers in a National League defence, but Barker and Freckleton are establishing an excellent understanding.
“I don’t think many other teams in the league will have two 19-year-olds playing centre half,” said Barker. “Since Mig [Miguel Freckleton] came in, he did very well on his debut and very good tonight, if we keep getting results, clean sheets, conceding one or two, it’ll be hard for anyone to beat us.”
More than 230 Stones fans made the long trip up to the LNER Community Stadium, and Barker was delighted to send them all home happy.
“The fans were unbelievable," said Barker. "We heard them through the whole game and id didn't matter how many York fans there were. We are happy to give everyone a good journey home and it makes the journey a lot better. I could tell by the scenes at the end how much it meant to everyone.”
Next up for the Stones is the visit of former EFL side Scunthorpe United at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday.
Click HERE to get your tickets. Season ticket holders of Premier League and EFL club can get in for just £10. Andy Under-16 can gain admission for just £5.
*Pictures by Jon Taffel