MATCH REPORT | Stockport County 4-0 Wealdstone
Updated: May 4
A battling Wealdstone side were eventually swept aside by title-chasing Stockport County in a 4-0 defeat at Edgeley Park on the May Day Bank Holiday.
A resolute Stones managed to hold on for 53 minutes before two goals in two minutes from Ryan Croasdale and Alex Reid made it a comfortable second half for the hosts.
Reid doubled his tally four minutes from the end before John Rooney scored a free kick in injury time.
Wealdstone boss Stuart Maynard made two changes to the side that lost to Yeovil Town just 48 hours previously, with Charlee Hughes and Sonny Lo-Everton coming in for the injured duo of Alex Dyer and Dennon Lewis who dropped to the bench.
After an energetic start from the hosts, Wealdstone settled into the game and caused a scare first when Lo-Everton played in Jacob Mendy in the Stockport area, but Hatters defender James Jennings got a crucial block in to deny the Stones' Spanish winger.
Just a minute later the Stones threatened again when Hughes got on the end of Michael Phillips' cross with an overhead kick, but the striker couldn't quite connect and Ben Hinchiffe collected.
Harry Cardwell had a big chance for the hosts after half hour, having a free header at goal from six yards out, but Jake Askew in the Stones goal produced a great reflex save to tip the bouncing effort over.
Buoyed by their first half performance the Stones could be forgiven for thinking that they could leave Edgeley Park with the points but those thoughts were dampened just eight minutes into the second half.
Askew produced not one, but two fantastic point-blank saves to first deny Cardwell and then Paddy Madden, but the ball fell to Croasdale on the edge of the area who slotted into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
And a minute later the visitors task was made even more difficult. Dan Wishart was dispossessed near the corner flag by Stockport sub Elliot Newby, who then crossed to Reid who tapped in from close range.
The 18-year old Wealdstone keeper Askew then made another great save, recovering from his punched corner that went straight to the path of Stockport skipper Liam Hogan who poked an effort at goal but the young keeper recovered with a reaction stop to tip the ball over.
Reid gave the Stones another warning with ten minutes to go, firing just wide of the far post from the edge of the box. He did double his tally on 86 minutes though, latching onto the end of a long ball, his effort took a big deflection off of Phillips that then beat Askew at his near post to all but seal the game.
There was still time for another goal for the hosts. Rooney swerved a textbook 25-yard free kick over the wall and into the top corner.
Wealdstone academy players Tecane Shrowder and Elijah Hearn both saw some action in injury time as they replaced first teamers Hughes and Phillips.
The Stones host London rivals and bottom half side Dagenham & Redbridge at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday in a 3pm kick off.
Stones boss Stuart Maynard: "It's not a positive result but it's a positive performance. We had a brilliant first half where we stuck to the game plan and matched and frustrated Stockport. Then we concede two sloppy goals and give ourselves a mountain to climb and the two goals at the end we had the tired legs, we lost two members of our squad on Saturday with injury so the lads out there today gave their all.
"I think if we kept it at 1-0 and kept ourselves in the game that we would've had a go in those last 10 minutes and not concede those goals because we'd be going off the adrenaline in having something to play for. It's a shame for their first goal too as Jake's made two fantastic saves before that and we couldn't deal with it.
"But Stockport are a fantastic side, they showed their quality again today and the options they had even on their bench showed how good they are. It was good to see another academy prospect in Tecane get his debut and also have Eli add another National League appearance, it's a credit to themselves and the youth system here at the club for how hard they are all working."
WEALDSTONE: Askew, Phillips (Hearn 90), Olowu, Okimo (c), Wishart (Gondoh 65), Charles, Smith, Lo-Everton, Mendy, Green, Hughes (Shrowder 90).
Subs not used: Lewis, Dyer.
STOCKPORT COUNTY: Hinchliffe, Hogan (c), Palmer, Jennings (Rydel 80), Minihan, Rooney, Croasdale, Walker (Newby 40), Madden, Cardwell (Bennett 63), Reid.
Subs not used: Maynard, Southam-Hales.
Report by Chris Woods