Report - Wealdstone 2 - 5 Stockport County
Wealdstone collapsed to a three-goal deficit against Stockport County in the first home game of the National League season.
Jorome Slew and Ross Lafayette contributed to the Stones’ lead with their first goals of the season until goals from Richie Bennett, Lois Maynard and a John Rooney hat-trick sealed County’s win.
Dean Brennan made three changes from the side that started the first two games of the season, with Lafayette making his first start of the season as well as full debuts for Alex Dyer and Slew.
It was a quick start from the visitors who almost found the opener inside the opening 10 minutes, Rooney hit the post after cutting inside from the right.
The early warning signs were soon avoided by the Stones, who took the lead in the 17th minute when Slew headed his first goal for the club at the back post after Michee Efete’s deep cross.
Wealdstone’s lead was short lived as Stockport were awarded a penalty for handball in the box from Connor Jennings’ strike, Rooney fired down the middle to equalise.
Dyer looked to inspire the Stones back into the lead, his low strike from the edge of the box was spilled but eventually saved by Ben Hinchliffe.
It was an even first half as the home side looked threatening whenever they counter attacked, while Stockport seemed comfortable in possession during the first period.
Wealdstone had the dream start to the second half, Lafayette regained the lead within two minutes of the restart when he slotted a loose ball into the bottom corner from Jacob Mendy’s cross.
Lafayette went down with an injury on the hour-mark, leaving the Stones light up front with their backs against the wall defending their one-goal lead.
Goalkeeper Harry Isted made an array of saves, the standout being an incredible claw away Ash Palmer’s header which was flying into the top corner.
Wealdstone’s lead did not last much longer, Bennett swept home Mark Kitching’s low square cross to put the visitors back on level terms going into the final 15 minutes.
Stockport had their tails up after waves of pressure and they took the lead two minutes later when Maynard fired in the rebound after two blocked shots in the penalty area.
Rooney then set the game alight with two goals in the final four minutes to secure his hat-trick for his new side.
Report by Dec O'Reilly
Wealdstone: Isted, Efete, Phillips, Okimo, Mendy, Smith, Dyer (Parish, 81), Benyu (Charles, 70), Wakefield, Slew, Lafayette (Cawley, 61).
Subs not used: Green, Emmanuel.
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Minihan, J. Jennings (Kitching, 61), Hogan, Palmer, Maynard, Rooney (Croasdale, 88), Bennett, C. Jennings, Keane, Reid (Thomas, 61).