Wealdstone 3 Maidstone United 2
A fast improving Wealdstone side rocked fourth in the table Maidstone United with goals scored after 30 seconds of the first half and a minute of the second and then netted a third to halt the ‘other Stones’ in their tracks in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 660 at The Vale on Saturday.
Stones had signed striker Davis Haule on loan from Staines Town during the week and his vast experience up front together with improving Watford youngster Marvin Sordell added a cutting edge to the attack and both players found the net. Wealdstone’s other new signing, Greg Ngoyi, played for the reserves at Sutton to gain valuable match fitness.
A lightening attack from Stones at the kick-off found Marvin Sordell in space on the left and his clean strike found the net with United’s keeper Andy Walker well beaten to shock the visitors after an astonishing 30 seconds play.
To their credit Maidstone soon shook off this set back and began to move the ball around in the midfield reasonably effectively but Stones' defence was once again looking well drilled and aggressive. Alan Massey and skipper James Gray, restored to the heart of the defence immediately started to repel the aerial threat down the centre. David Hicks had a decent strike on goal from a good Davis Haule knock down but United gradually began to dominate possession as the first period wore on and easily won the corner count created by a number of hopeful deflected shots – none of these came to anything as Massey and co held firm. Carl Martin’s pace and timing in the tackle frustrated United’s forays up the slope when they did manage to break free.
But the home side had their chances to add to their one goal lead, one from a Ryan Ashe run and another when Sordell dwelled slightly too long when put clear and the ball was cleared.
At half –time there was a presentation of the FA Charter Standard to Ruislip Manor Youth FC, now playing under the Wealdstone banner.
Incredibly Stones repeated their early goal feat of the first half when a minute into the second period, Haule used his strength to steal the ball and get in front of a defender. The No 9 swept the ball out to the left to the on rushing Graeme Montgomery who rifled the ball past the despairing dive of Walker for 2-0. This fillip served to make Stones even more determined in the tackle as they fought like tigers for a killer third goal. Chris O’Leary exemplified this spirit and he chased down everything all over the park.
Despite this double upset, United continued to play some good controlled football and showed why they have a lofty league placing. They deservedly managed to claw a goal back on 58 minutes when the dangerous but previously well shackled James Pinnock, drove an accurate strike from 20 yards past Luke Woods for 2-1. It was now game on as this fast flowing match ratcheted up another few notches as Stones began to look a little nervous.
With United’s tails now up Stones started to make errors with a few rash tackles and conceded free kicks in dangerous areas of the park.
But Stones effectively made the game safe at a critical point on 68 minutes when new striker Davis Haule latched onto a ball just outside the box and lashed the ball home to increase the lead and in the process break United’s hearts.
Stones Manager Gordon Bartlett then decided to ring the changes with Kieron Forbes coming on for David Hicks and then Marvin McCoy entered the fray for Montgomery and this bolstered the defence. Luke Woods steadied Stones nerves with several good holds on the goal line when under pressure as United piled on attacking moves. That pressure paid off a minute from normal time when Meshach Nugent somehow managed to loop a deflected ball over Woods to add to the afternoon’s high entertainment. Ben Clarke was the final change for Stones, replacing Sordell and his pace immediately gave an urgent away side more problems to cope with.
Four minutes injury time was announced and that became five after a rare bout of hand bags involving Lee Chappell who took exception to a defenders indiscretion at the corner flag, but Stones held out comfortably enough in the end for a very solid win indeed against a good Maidstone side.
Stones travel to Horsham on Wednesday (to be played at Worthing FC) looking for a remarkable fifth win on the spin.
Wealdstone: Woods, Martin, Chappell, Gray, Massey, Ashe, Hicks, O’Leary, Haule, Sordell, Montgomery. Subs used: Forbes, McCoy, Ben Clarke. N/u: Hughes, Locke.