RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Bury Town 0
TOM PETT’S early goal sealed Wealdstone’s fifth successive win at Bury on Saturday sending them second in the table.
The diminutive midfielder struck inside 10 minutes to provide the pivotal moment of the most complete performance of the campaign so far from Gordon Bartlett’s new-look side.
Stones went on to restrict their Suffolk hosts to half-chances throughout the 90 minutes – an excellent effort against a team likely to feature in the promotion shake-up come the business end of the season.
The display was made all the more creditable as Stones’ were missing defensive trio Jerome Okimo, Josh Hill and Jey Siva due to injury and unavailability.
Teenager Orlando Rodrigues was called in from the reserves at left-back while skipper Wes Parker was given a welcome start despite his persistent groin injury.
Despite the disruption the backline performed brilliantly with last season’s player of the year Sean Cronin again outstanding at centre-half.
The only real concern for Wealdstone in this ‘Non-League Day’ match, played in front of an inflated crowd of 737, was they couldn’t add to their early score which created a few nerves as the game progressed.
Stones launched into the attack from the start forcing the Blues to defend in depth, Scott McGleish going close, before they took the lead on nine minutes.
The effervescent Tom Pett seized the ball after nipping in between defenders and bore down on goal with only Blues ‘keeper Marcus Garnham to beat.
The experienced custodian managed to push to ball away on the ground but, quick as a flash, Pett turned and lofted the ball into the net with his left foot for his third goal of the season.
The hardworking Stefan Bailey was booked for a challenge on Jordon Patrick but Stones play was patient, assured and effective with the midfield dominating through Glen Little’s timing and space creation while Bailey’s engine kept the home side under constant pressure.
And the visitors came close to doubling the lead before the interval when Cronin’s header from a corner was hacked off the line.
The pattern continued after the break with Bury restricted to sporadic counter-attacks, the best of these seeing striker John Sands burst into the area only for Parker’s full-bloodied but clean challenge to block the attempted strike.
It was almost the home side’s last hurrah with Stones coming close to a killer second goal on several occasions.
Bailey’s audacious lob after Scott McGleish robbed Garnham dropped just wide of the mark, while on the hour the keeper thwarted Little at the end of a rampaging run and Pett came closest of all, striking the post after another excellent run.
In the end it did not matter as Stones comfortably held on to the three points.
They must now turn their attention to another tough test on the road at AFC Hornchurch tomorrow evening.