MATCH REPORT | Woking 2-4 Wealdstone
Updated: May 30
Wealdstone concluded a challenging 2020/21 campaign on a high by mounting an excellent comeback to defeat fellow National League strugglers Woking at the Kingfield Stadium.
A first half goal from Charlee Hughes, along with a brace from man of the moment Ryan Gondoh, and a strike from Sonny Lo-Everton sealed the Stones’ first victory in 11 games.
While an own goal by Alex Dyer and a header by Ben Gerring proved only consolatory for the Cardinals.
Manager Stuart Maynard made one change to the starting line-up that was defeated by Solihull Moors last Saturday, with forward Gondoh replacing the injured Danny Parish.
In addition, defensive stalwart Connor Stevens was named to the bench for the first time this season after a lengthy spell sidelined with injury.
Woking looked to have seized an early initiative in the seventh minute when Charlie Cooper converted past George Shelvey, but referee Gary Parson disallowed the goal for a foul on the visitors’ goalkeeper.
The Stones responded positively, galvanising their own scoring opportunity in the tenth minute as Sonny Lo-Everton burst forward with the ball to play through Hughes, however Craig Ross was on hand to deny the striker.
A minute later, Dennon Lewis surged down the left wing and unleashed a shot from 30 yards which took a deflection, allowing Ross to collect for the hosts.
On the quarter of an hour mark, Woking began to dominate proceedings as Jack Cook threw a long ball into the box which was met by Ben Gerry who rose highest to head on target, but Shelvey was alert to tip the effort over the crossbar.
A moment later, the Cardinals’ corner was flicked onto Max Kretzschmar at the far post, but the number ten could only fire his shot over the bar.
In the 18th minute, Woking’s pressure prevailed and they took the lead as a free kick was drilled into the box by Cooper, with Alex Dyer’s headed clearance finding its way into the back of his own net.
At the opposite end, the Cardinals nearly scored an own goal themselves as Dyer’s whipped corner was sliced clear by Gerring, with the defender’s blushes being saved by teammate Sam Ashford.
However, Woking looked to have doubled their lead in the 22nd minute when Gerring slid to tap home at the back post, but the linesman flagged for offside.
The Stones continued to probe for an equaliser and they were duly rewarded when the skilful Lo-Everton won the ball in midfield and played a neat through ball between the legs of a Woking defender for Hughes to smash home past Ross and notch his first goal of the season.
Five minutes from the stroke of halftime, the home side nearly edged ahead again as Copper popped up at the back post having been played in by Kretzschmar, but captain Jerome Okimo was well-positioned to provide a crucial block to deny the midfielder.
A minute later, the Cardinals had two more glorious chances in succession, with Ashley Charles vitally clearing Kretzschmar’s effort off of the line and Ashford firing over from close range.
The second half saw Woking restore their lead within six minutes as Gerring rose highest at the far post to head Cooper’s corner home past Jake Askew.
Conceding this goal proved to be a catalyst for the Stones as they rallied to score three
goals in the space of nine minutes to turn the match around.
In the 67th minute, Gondoh was brought down in the box by Kyran Lofthouse, with the Wealdstone forward stepping up convert past Ross from the penalty spot and draw the visitors level once again.
The lively Gondoh then played a short corner to Okimo who laid it back and the striker cut inside from the right wing and swerved a strike past Ross into the bottom corner from 20 yards out to send the Stones into the lead.
Goal scorer Gondoh turned provider for the fourth goal, squaring the ball to Lo-Everton on the edge of the box for the Watford loanee to smash home past Ross to increase the visitors’ advantage.
Growing in confidence, the Stones galvanised a further attack in the 81st minute, with top goal scorer Jacob Mendy cutting inside and unleashing a powerful effort, prompting Ross to react with a fine save.
Wealdstone held firm to earn a deserved victory on the last day of the season and mark a fitting return to their first season back in the National League.
WEALDSTONE: Shelvey (Askew 46), Olowu (Stevens 69), Harbottle, Okimo (c), Mendy, Charles, Dyer, Lo-Everton, Lewis, Gondoh (Shrowder 87), Hughes.
Subs not used: Hearn, Cawley.
WOKING: Ross (c), Collier, Gerring, Cook (Hodges 65), Hamblin, Lofthouse, Cooper, Freeman (Dalby 80), Kretzschmar, Robinson (Leslie 77), Ashford.
Subs not used: Smith, Skinner.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee