Report - Wealdstone 2 - 1 Hampton & Richmond Boro
In front of a bumper Non-League Day crowd of 1163, Wealdstone raced into a spectacular lead after one minute’s play with a scintillating display of attacking football.
Fumnaya Shomotun ran at and beat four Beavers defenders giving an onrushing David Pratt the chance to leap and power a header past Tom Lovelock. This set the tone for most of the first half with the home side totally dominant and overwhelming a shell shocked away side who had not lost an away game in the league prior to this clash.
And Stones should have doubled the lead after 8 minutes when Freddie Grant was brought down in the box by Casey Maclaren who would have a game to forget as the afternoon progressed. But the home side spurned this opportunity when Danny Green’s spot kick was well saved by Tom Lovelock.
This set back did not deter Wealdstone from their attacking mindset and only 6 minutes later the score line was doubled. Grant had a powerful header saved by Lovelock and from the resulting corner Bradley Bubb cheekily pounced to back heel the ball into the net to que celebrations in the crowd.
Stones would rue the chances missed early on as against the run of play and in their first serious attack Hampton pulled a goal back. Sloppy defending allowed a second ball to find it’s way to an unmarked Maclaren and he had time and space to shoot past an exposed Jon North.
Stones, however, continued to dominate for the remainder of the half but were guilty at times of overplaying the ball allowing the Beavers defenders to clear their lines and set up the occasional counter attack with Wellard close from a well worked free kick.
At the turnaround Stones should have been out of sight but with only the one goal advantage they needed to be on the alert. Substitute Chris Dickson added to the away side’s attacking threat with his pace and awareness and Stones had to defend in greater numbers with the game becoming more attritional.
The contest once again turned in Stones favour when, on 65 minutes, Maclaren went studs up on Godfrey Poku and was shown a straight red card.
North saved brilliantly from Dickson with 8 minutes remaining and there was a scare for the home side in added time but again North was equal to the away strike.
WEALDSTONE (4-4-2): North 7, Sheppard 8, Grant 8, Stevens 8, Okimo 8, Poku 8, Shomotun 8, Ahmidi 6, Pratt 8, Green 6 (Lench 81, 7) Bubb 7. Subs not used: Wilson, Charles, Clark, Slew.
Geoff Smith pics HERE