Report - Wealdstone 2 - 0 Gloucester City
Wealdstone returned to winning ways beating Gloucester City 2-0 at Grosvenor Vale. The Stones were clinical, with their two strikers bagging a goal each in a deserved win.
Wealdstone started the match with good intention and were keen to start in a positive way. Possession was in favour of the home side, shifting the play to the left side more than often to get Bradley Hudson-Odoi running at Gloucester City right back Spencer Hamilton. Set pieces were the order of the first 10 minutes with Fumnaya Shomotun having his free kick turned away before David Pratt turned a corner back goal-bound. Wealdstone started controlling the game.
Gloucester City were almost behind on 11 minutes. Trickery on the left side from Hudson Odoi enabled him to find a dangerous left footed cross, headed back across goal by Connor Stevens and Jack Deaman gratefully seeing the ball turned over via his own crossbar. Stones were inches from taking the lead and looked to be making the visitors panic in wide areas.
But it was Gloucester City who had the next opportunity, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. Joe Hanks found a couple of yards inside the 18-yard box and took too long to fire his shot away. The deflection found its way to Jake Mawford but his scooped effort was too easy for Jonathan North. Perhaps Gloucester City might look back and rue this chance.
Wealdstone were playing a high line from the off, trying to push Gloucester on the back foot, and chances were coming their way. A corner swung in by Fumnaya Shomotun was met by the lastest make-shift left back, captain Jerome Okimo. His diving header was blocked and signalled a wave of appeals from the Stones fans behind the goal, with referee Matty Buonassisi shaking his head.
David Pratt found himself in his preferred position up front, taking a break from dropping deep. He twisted and turned with his back to goal, holding off the defender but his shot was blocked, Wealdstone were creating but not finishing.
It was an uncertain feel to the Stones back line, with Okimo playing left back instead of Rhys Tyler. Glenn Wilson therefore came into centre back, with Jake Sheppard on the bench as Tyler was in right back. With Okimo picking up a knock, Sheppard did come on the field in a straight swap. At this point the only familiar sight was Connor Stevens. However, they appeared comfortable once Sheppard came on.
The first half ended with needless scuffles. Simon Mensah reacted in an unnecessary fashion to a foul conceded by Fabien Robert. Perhaps it was the frustration of the score-line going into the break.
The match opened up slightly in the early period of the second half. There was a sense that the game was there to be won by either side, with Gloucester City starting the half very well. Fabien Robert was involved in everything positive for the away team. Robert flicked a ball around the corner for Joe Parker who drove a low shot across goal, but Jonathan North got down well.
But it was in the 54th minute that Stones took the advantage. It was a loosely controlled ball by David Pratt on the right side, challenged by Gloucester City left back Jack Deaman. He managed to hook it into the path of an onrushing Bradley Bubb, 25 yards out, who cushioned the ball onto his knee before firing a volley over goalkeeper Adam Przbek. The Welshman was caught offguard, and although it might have taken a slight deflection, Stones were ahead.
Gloucester City increased the pressure on Stones, but the home side profited from swift and pacey counter attacks predominantly led by Shomotun. A tremendous tackle from Spencer Hamilton prevented Hudson-Odoi from doubling Wealdstone’s lead. Stones were in a good position, leading the match and waiting to pounce on over-commitment from the visitors going forward.
Shomotun was shortly replaced by right midfielder Daniel Green, leaving slightly less agility and pace but slightly more accuracy. Simon Mensah played a cute ball into Bradley Bubb but his heavy first touch limited his abilities to make use of his chance. It was a second half of limited chances for Wealdstone, but they were determined to hold on.
Gloucester City made a double substitution in the hope for an equaliser, but opportunities were few and far between. It was Gloucester, in fact, that were predominantly defending for the last 10 minutes. Wealdstone were working as a unit to close off the space and deny any openings.
It was a half chance, but nevertheless a chance for Gloucester in the last 5 mins. Robert received the ball on the right from substitute Harry Williams, before giving it back, only for Williams to tamely slot the ball into the arms of North.
Bradley Hudson-Odoi then set up Godfrey Poku to smash a first time effort at the goalkeeper, this was a teaser before the game was put out of question. Poku was intelligent, getting in between the lines and played a perfectly weighted pass into Bubb on the left side of the penalty area. The striker found his partner and David Pratt slammed the ball home to give Wealdstone a clinical and deserved three points.
First Team Coach, Mike Percival, took charge of the team in the absence of Bobby Wilkinson. After the game he said “It was a scrappy game, I thought the boys looked slightly fatigued. But what we’ve done well is responded brilliantly. So proud of the group and how they’ve responded in the circumstances so credit to everyone.”
He also added “To keep a clean sheet is brilliant too. Jake [Sheppard] came on in an unnatural position and was absolutely outstanding. Glenn Wilson had his first start in 14 games, he was unreal. Connor Stevens keeps getting better and better. The back four were unbelievable, so credit to everyone.”
Wealdston: North, Tyler, Okimo, Wilson, Stevens, Poku, Shomotun, Mensah, Prat, Bubb, Hudson-Odio Subs Used - Sheppard, Green, Charles Not Used Clark & Slew
Geoff Smith pics HERE