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MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 1-0 Grimsby Town

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

Wealdstone produced a magnificent performance to beat table toppers Grimsby Town in style at The Vale yesterday evening, in front of a record National League midweek crowd of 1,892 supporters. A brilliant strike from Matt Buse clinched a memorable victory for the Stones under the lights as they handed the Mariners only their second defeat of the season.

Manager Stuart Maynard made three changes to his injury hit side that drew with Weymouth on Saturday. Midfielder Zac Dronfield, recalled from his loan with Hampton & Richmond Borough, went straight into the starting 11, while defender Jaydn Mundle-Smith made his full debut and Matt Buse was handed his first start since the season opener against Woking. The Stones looked like they had made the perfect start when Mundle-Smith converted past James McKeown in the first minute of play, but the goal was ruled out for offside by referee Robert Massey-Ellis.

Two minutes later, it was the Mariners’ turn to nearly draw first blood as Erico Sousa cut inside and fired on target, however George Wickens produced a fine save. Wealdstone continued in their positive vein as Ashley Charles whipped a trademark free kick into the box, but Jack Cook could only power his header wide.

As the Stones continued to play on the front foot, they were rewarded for their attacking endeavours as Massey-Ellis awarded the home side a penalty after Luke Waterfall fouled Buse in the box on the 10th minute mark. Top goal scorer Josh Umerah stepped up to take the spot kick, but McKeown produced a crucial save to maintain the score line.

In the 18th minute, the visitors responded by crafting an opportunity of their own as John McAtee spun and shot from the edge of the box, prompting Wickens to produce another solid save.

Wealdstone’s deserved breakthrough came in the 29th minute as Charles’ corner was deftly flicked on by captain Jerome Okimo to man of the match Buse, who rocketed an excellent low strike from the edge of the area into the bottom corner past McKeown to notch his first goal for the club.

Three minutes later, the Stones almost increased their lead further as Okimo’s cross from the left wing nearly crept inside the far top corner.

The home side continued to display its compact and cohesive style of play, entering half time with a merited lead over league leaders Grimsby Town.

Although the Mariners emerged from the interval intent on galvanising an equaliser, the Stones depicted their attacking prowess as they looked to build on their advantage. This impetus was nearly rewarded in the 54th minute when the absolutely imperious Buse slid through Umerah to fire from an acute angle, but an important deflection diverted the ball safely into the hands of McKeown.

Grimsby Town looked like they had drawn level in the 55th minute as Waterfall’s flick from a free kick was only parried by Wickens, however Okimo was on hand to produce a crucial goal line clearance to preserve the Stones’ lead.

The Mariners’ probing for an equaliser was nearly successful in the 64th minute as Ben Fox’s swerved free kick flew marginally wide of the far post.

The high-flying visitors amped up the pressure during the final stages of the match, however the Stones, superbly marshalled by stalwart Okimo, provided a defensive masterclass, relentlessly thwarting Grimsby Town’s attacks.

Two minutes from time, the Stones nearly clinched a second goal to top off a phenomenal performance. The industrious Charles fed Jay Bird down the right wing, who executed a pinpoint cross for the lively substitute Craig Fasanmade, but his headed effort flew agonisingly over the crossbar.

After a monumental effort, Wealdstone enjoy a deserved break before their next match on Saturday 13th November, when they entertain local rivals Barnet at The Vale, in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.

WEALDSTONE: Wickens, Cook, McAvoy, Okimo (c), Tavares, Charles, Dronfield (Bird 59), Buse, Mundle-Smith, Jackson (Lewis 65), Umerah (Fasanmade 82).

Subs not used: Marigliani, Eleftheriou.

Attendance: 1,892 (including 794 Grimsby Town fans)

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee


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