Report - Wealdstone 1 - 0 St Albans City
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
Wealdstone secured their ninth win from 10 home games this season after a professional victory against St Albans City in the National League South on Saturday afternoon.
Dennon Lewis scored the only goal in an encounter largely dominated by the league leaders as they picked up their 27th home point from a possible 30 this season.
Stones Manager Dean Brennan reacted to the Boxing Day defeat with three changes from the side that lost 2-1 at Slough Town.
Striker Adam Coombes made his full debut in place of Ross Lafayette, while Danny Green and Jack Jebb replaced Jerome Okimo and Billy Clifford; winger Jacob Mendy slotted into left-back.
The opening passages of play were dominated by the home side, full-back Michee Efete and winger Lewis had chances early on which were not capitalised on.
Welling United loanee Coombes won a loose ball near the half-way line and threaded in Lewis down the left, with the winger’s cross-goal effort fizzing wide.
Lewis was causing all sorts of problems for the Saints down the left channel in the opening half-an-hour, crossing at pace into the box on multiple occasions.
A golden chance fell for the Stones 12 minutes before half-time, with Mendy and Lewis linking up before Green cannoned an effort off the bar.
Wealdstone’s persistence paid off on the stroke of half-time, as Jebb slipped Lewis in behind and composed himself before a low strike past Dean Snedker.
A strong first half performance from the league leaders was capped off with a well-deserved opening goal for Lewis, the second half did not provide the same intensity and dictatorship from the Stones.
Green looked to double the Stones’ lead 10 minutes into the second period with a curling effort which flew off-target.
The Stones did not struggle to create chances, Lewis again at the heart of the attack as the winger crossed low to Green, who could only fire over inside the area.
Wealdstone had the ball in the net that was ruled out for offside. Mendy’s strike was saved by Snedker, before Coombes shot from an offside position off the post and Green put the ball into the net.
St Albans, a side unbeaten in five, looked to get on level terms with David Noble and former Stone Jefferson Louis off the bench for Ian Allinson’s side.
Noble took multiple free-kick for the Saints as they searched for an equaliser, while Louis linked well with top scorer Joe Iaciofano. However, Connor Stevens was equal to every attempt.
Snedker was on hand to deny Mendy on the counter-attack as the game entered a tense final ten minutes, with important points at either side of the table at stake for both teams.
Saints Captain Tom Bender hit a sweet strike destined for goal before a heroic block by substitute Connor Smith, back in the squad after missing out on Boxing Day.
Six minutes of stoppage time were added, with the Stones holding out for a huge three points before Oli Sprague’s strike deep in injury time was stopped by Harry Isted.
Isted’s late save confirmed a fourth clean sheet in five games as the Stones sit five points clear at the top of the National League South at the end of 2019.
Report by Dec O’Reilly
The Stones are back in action on New Year's Day, when third-placed Slough Town visit The Vale - kick-off is at 1pm.
Wealdstone: Isted, Efete, Edjenguele, Jebb, Stevens, Charles (Smith, 85), Phillips, Mendy, Coombes (Lafayette, 73), Green, Lewis (Shomotun, 82).
Subs not used: Clifford, Arnold.