MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 1-4 Stockport County
Updated: Nov 28, 2021
In form play-off chasers Stockport County outclassed Wealdstone at The Vale this afternoon to end their five-match unbeaten run.
A goal from Scott Quigley, along with a 19-minute hat-trick from Oliver Crankshaw, eased the Hatters to victory, with substitute Ira Jackson scoring a late consolation goal for the Stones.
Manager Stuart Maynard made one change to the side that edged Dover midweek, with forward Jay Bird replacing the injured Rhys Browne in the starting line-up.
Stockport displayed their attacking intent from the outset, with Stones’ goalkeeper George Wickens producing two excellent saves to deny Ryan Croasdale and Quigley by the 11th minute mark.
Wealdstone’s first effort on goal was orchestrated by the lively Jayden Sweeney, who cut inside from the right wing and unleashed a low, driven strike which was expertly saved by Hatters’ number one, Ben Hinchcliffe, in the 20th minute.
However, six minutes later, the dominant visitors duly broke the deadlock as Quigley popped up to fire home the rebound after Crankshaw’s initial effort was blocked.
The Hatters looked to double their advantage, and came close in the 32nd minute when Ryan Rydel’s dangerous cross was swung in towards goalscorer Quigley, but captain Jerome Okimo produced a vital header at the near post to thwart the danger.
Trailing by only one goal, the Stones started to grow into the game during the latter stages of the first half, with their best chance coming two minutes before the stoke of half-time, as Okimo picked out Sweeney at the far port with a teasing cross, but the Leyton Orient loanee’s volleyed effort flew just wide of the target.
County, fresh from knocking League One side Bolton Wanders out of the 1st round of the FA Cup three weeks ago, cranked up the gears during the second half, with Crankshaw converting from inside the box in the 62nd minute, for the first of his hat trick.
Four minutes later, Stockport trebled their lead as Crankshaw pounced in the box to tap home his second and send the visitors into cruise control.
The visitors’ superiority was heightened in the 81st minute as the clinical Crankshaw sealed his hat trick, winning the ball high up the pitch, advancing through on goal and coolly slotting home the Hatters’ forth of the afternoon.
Nevertheless, the Stones continued to fight until the final whistle and they were duly rewarded three minutes from time when Jackson produced a moment of brilliance, surging forward with the ball and rocketing a shot from outside the box into the far corner to notch his second goal for the club.
Wealdstone return to action on Tuesday 30th November, when they travel to The Orchard to face Bedfont & Feltham in the Middlesex Charity Cup 2nd Round, in a 7.45pm kick off.
WEALDSTONE: Wickens, McAvoy, Cook, Okimo (c), Sweeney, Dyer, Buse (Dronfield 75), Cooper, Mundle-Smith (Mascoll 68), Bird (Jackson 68), Umerah.
Subs not used: Marigliani, Eleftheriou.
Attendance: 1,382 (including 310 Stockport fans)
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee