- Nicole Cho-Yee
MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 0-2 Barnet
Wealdstone suffered a derby day defeat at the hands of Barnet in front of the BT Sport cameras and a record crowd of 3,012 at Grosvenor Vale.
Second half goals from Nicke Kabamba and Harry Pritchard sealed a comfortable victory for their local rivals and resigned the Stones to their third consecutive loss.
Stuart Maynard made three changes to the side that were beaten convincingly by Scunthorpe last week as Corie Andrews returned to the starting line-up, alongside new signings Lewis Simper and Charles Clayden.
Barnet galvanised the first chance of the match in the third minute of play when Daniel Powell’s effort from inside the area was well-saved by Sam Howes.
Two minutes later, Wealdstone crafted an opportunity when Olufela Olomola collected the ball on the edge of the box and fired a shot narrowly wide of Laurie Walker’s goal.
The Stones’ best chance of the half came in the 31st minute when new signing Simper, on loan from Cambridge United, unleashed a fierce strike from 25 yards out which beat Walker, but was denied by the crossbar.
As the contest continued to be a tight and feisty affair, the visitors were close to breaking the deadlock in the 37th minute when Jordan Cropper’s long throw-in found Idris Kanu at the back post, but he blazed his effort over the bar.
Moments later, the Bees had a second bite of the cherry when Ryan De Havilland’s in-swinging corner looked destined to be converted, but a brilliant goal-line clearance from the home side denied the visitors a goal.
Three minutes from the stroke of halftime, skipper Dale Gorman’s stunning strike from near the halfway line was thwarted by the glove of Howes, fresh from claiming a clean sheet midweek on international duty with England C.
The Bees returned from the interval with added impetus; taking the lead within two minutes of the restart as Kabamba surged forward to the edge of the box and drilled a low driven strike past Howes to notch his 19th goal of the season.
Two minutes later, Wealdstone had the chance to level, but Olomola’s long range effort was straight at Walker.
Captain Jack Cook was next to come close to equalising, latching onto Simper’s corner, but he was unable to keep his head effort down.
As the visitors shifted through the gears further, De Havilland's dipping free-kick looked set for the back of the net in the 71stminute, but Howes responded with an excellent save.
With just over quarter of an hour to go, Barnet duly doubled their advantage and sealed victory as Pritchard turned in a crowded box and slotted past Howes into the bottom corner.
Wealdstone return to action on Tuesday evening when they hoist Oldham Athletic at the Vale in a 7.45pm kick off.
WEALDSTONE: Howes, Barker, Cook (c), Habergham, Taylor, Simper, Ferguson, Clayden (Allarakhia 75), Obiero, Olomola, Andrews (Hutchinson 89).
Subs not used: Barrett, Lo-Everton, Whittaker.
Attendance: 3,012 (including 681 Barnet supporters)
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee
Today's winning 50/50 number is 09111