Preview - Hemel Hempstead Town (A) - Saturday 17th August
It’s derby day for Wealdstone on Saturday afternoon, as the Stones make the short trip to Vauxhall Road and face Hemel Hempstead Town.
New Stones manager Dean Brennan’s feet are firmly under the table after three wins from the opening four league games this season, he returns to his old club this weekend.
The Stones are in hot-form after earning two clean sheets in a row in the last week. Former Tudor Billy Clifford is the man in-form for Wealdstone, with two goals in his last two games from midfield.
Hemel Hempstead have had a change of manager this summer as well, as Sammy Moore came in following a successful season with Concord Rangers last season.
Brennan on Moore’s recruitment: “I think their [Hemel’s] recruitment [this summer] has been excellent.”
The Tudors have been struck with injuries to key players at the start of the season. Brennan said it was “impressive” that they won three of their first four due to the number of players out.
Talisman Alex Wall joined this summer from Concord Rangers after netting 21 times last season, however, he is yet to appear for the Tudors this season due to injury.
Midfielders Luke Howell and Josh Wallen will both be serving suspension for Hemel, the duo saw red cards against Dorking and Hampton & Richmond, respectively.
Dynamic midfielder Liam Nash scored three goals in the opening two games of the season but will be a doubt after suffering a back problem.
Moore has looked to tackle their current injury problems with the loan signing of Barnet forward Mo Bettamer, who will be available for selection on Saturday.
Wealdstone will still be without left-back Ryan Sellers and goalkeeper Jonathan North, who have been covered by Michee Efete and Aston Oxborough at the start of this season.
A breakthrough for the Stones in offence is that former Oxford United striker Dejon Noel-Williams will be available for selection for the first time this season.
Noel-Williams scored in pre-season against Watford Under-23s at The Vale but was unfortunately bitten by a spider, leaving him out for the opening couple of weeks of the season.
Wealdstone now have plenty of firepower in attacking areas, with Ross Lafayette scoring two and assisting one already this season and ex-Tudor Phil Roberts coming off the bench in the last two games.
Those two, alongside Noel-Williams, will give Brennan plenty of selection ideas ahead of returning Vauxhall Road.
It’s 4th vs 2nd in the National League South, will the Stones prevail against their local rivals?
Preview by Dec O'Reilly
Full pre-match quotes from Dean Brennan HERE
Full match details HERE