Report - Bracknell Town 1 - 4 Wealdstone
Wealdstone opened their pre-season campaign with a comprehensive away victory against Isthmian League South Central Division side, Bracknell Town, at Larges Lane.
A superb second half brace from new signing Dennon Lewis; a stunning strike from debutant Jacob Mendy; and a clinical finish from Trialist 1, secured a promising win for the Stones.
New manager Dean Brennan utilised his first pre-season friendly to experiment with two different line-ups for each half, which included a number of trialists.
The match started evenly, as both sides tried to settle down into the tempo of the game and establish some authority. Returning midfielder Danny Green looked sharp and creative during the first half, producing a number of dangerous and inviting crosses into the Robins’ box.
Captain Jerome Okimo demonstrated his versatility as he slotted in effortlessly at left-back for the Stones, delivering his trademark calm and composed display, both defensively and offensively; while the Trialist in central defence produced a solid and assured performance.
New signing Jacob Cook also impressed with his industrious and combative play, seizing possession for the Stones on a number of occasions through his timely tackles and intelligent interceptions.
Youngster Femi Azeez, who increasingly grew into the game as the half progressed, produced a fantastic low, curling left-foot effort in the 44th minute, which smashed off of the post.
A minute later, Azeez turned provider, threading through Ross Lafayette, whose well-struck effort was excellently cleared off of the line by Bracknell Town’s Seb Bowerman.
Brennan introduced a new starting XI for the second half. However, it was the Robins who provided the first goal bound effort in the 49th minute, as their Trialist 2 despatched a long-range effort into the top corner of the goal, but the linesman adjudged him to be offside.
After this early scare, the Stones began to dictate the game, enjoying the lion’s share of possession; whereby the introduction of Lewis and Mendy, injected speed and creativity into the side.
The deadlock was broken by Wealdstone in the 59th minute, as the talented Mendy drove a delightful long-range left-footed strike past Bracknell Town goalkeeper Mark Scott to take the lead.
The Robins responded almost instantly, as Trialist 2 broke through the Stones’ defence on the right-wing, clinically firing past Dylan Paterson into the far corner, to level the game three minutes later.
This provided the impetus for the Stones as the pacey and skilful Lewis began to dominate proceedings on the left-wing. In the 77th minute, he was duly rewarded for his efforts, following up with a fierce strike to open his account for Wealdstone.
As the Stones convincingly began to dictate the play, Trialist 1 extended their lead further, slotting home past Robins’ ‘keep Scott in the 79th minute, after an impressive run down the right channel.
A minute later, the impressive Lewis latched onto a loose ball to drive home a brilliant strike from outside-of-the-box, completing a brace on his debut for Wealdstone.
An entertaining second half performance from the Stones, including three goals in quick succession, secured an assured victory for the Stones.
Wealdstone return to action on Tuesday 9th July at 7:45pm, with another pre-season friendly against Hayes and Yeading United at the SkyEx Community Stadium.
Wealdstone: North (Paterson, 45), Arnold (Trialist 1, 45), Okimo (Trialist 2, 45), Cook (Trialist 3, 45), Stevens (Trialist 4, 45), Trialist (Trialist 5, 45), Sheppard (Cotter, 45), Smith (Trialist 6, 45), Lafayette (Noel-Williams, 45), Green (Mendy, 45), Azeez (Lewis, 45).
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee