MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 3-1 Eastleigh
Wealdstone won the battle of the play-off chasers at Grosvenor Vale, triumphing over Eastleigh to leapfrog the Spitfires into 7thposition in the National League.
Excellent goals from Nathan Ferguson and Obiero, along with a penalty from Max Kretzschmar, sealed a classy comeback from the Stones after an early set-back.
Stuart Maynard made one change to the side that were narrowly defeated by Chelmsford on Wednesday in the FA Trophy, with Max Kretzschmar returning from injury to the starting line-up. New signing Brooklyn Ilunga was also named to the bench.
The Spitfires flew off to the perfect start, scoring almost instantly when Alfie Lloyd latched onto a defence-splitting pass and coolly slotted home past Sam Howes to launch his team ahead after just one minute.
Eastleigh continued to dominate the early exchanges, nearly doubling their advantage quarter of an hour later when the ball fell to Danny Whitehall in the box, but Charlie Barker produced a vital block to thwart the danger.
On the 26th minute mark, the Stones came close to drawing level when in form Nathan Ferguson unleashed a trademark powerful long range shot, which rose just over the crossbar.
As the half progressed, Wealdstone forged their way back into the match, gaining ascendancy as they began to find rhythm and fluidity in their passing and build-up play.
The Stones continued to overload the Spitfires and pile on the pressure, nearly equalising through Max Kretzschmar’s strike from distance which deflected off of an Eastleigh defender and whistled just wide of Joe McDonnell’s post.
Five minutes before the stroke of half time, the visitors crafted the opportunity to double their lead going into the break when Whitehall cut the ball back to Charlie Carter in the box, but Stones’ captain Jack Cook produced a crucial last-ditch tackle to preserve the score line.
A minute into stoppage time, Wealdstone finally equalised in style when a short free kick from Kretzschmar was played to Ferguson, who clinically fired past McDonnell into the bottom left corner, to notch his fourth goal in as many games.
Maynard’s side continued the second half in the same vein, with the ever dangerous Tarryn Allarakhia causing significant problems down the left wing.
Allarakhia proved to be the catalyst for the Stones forging ahead as he was brought down in the box when through on goal. Penalty taker Kretzschmar duly stepped up to confidently convert home from 12 yards.
Nine minutes from time, the result was put beyond doubt in superb fashion when substitute Obiero beautifully curled the ball into the bottom corner past McDonnell from the left-hand side of the box.
The Stones finished the game with ten-men after goalscorer Obiero saw two late yellow cards in additional time.
Despite a late flurry from Eastleigh, Wealdstone held firm to complete a comprehensive victory.
The Stones return to action this coming Tuesday 10th January as they hosts high-flying Chesterfield at The Vale in a 7.45pm kick off.
WEALDSTONE: Howes, Barker, Cook (c), Freckleton, Habergham (Mundle-Smith 84) , Dyer, Ferguson, Kretzschmar (Ilunga 68), Allarakhia (Charles 63), Obiero, Olomola.
Subs not used: Barrett, McGregor.
Attendance: 1,240 (including 77 Eastleigh supporters)
Report Nicole Cho-Yee