Wealdstone 1-4 Bishop's Stortford
Wealdstone's poor home form returned with a vengeance at The Vale on Saturday as Mikel Suarez's double eased Bishop's Stortford's relegation fears.
Stortford's giant striker notched from close range in the first half and the spot after the break as the visitors dominated their surprisingly lacklustre hosts who had done so well at St Albans in the previous match.
Angry Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett said: "There were two teams out there today but only one of them played with heart - and it wasn’t us. We are not used to that type of performance at Wealdstone and I can only put it down to complacency, they wanted it more than we did and we paid the price. Credit to the visitors they did a job on us but we were very poor today and this was an unacceptable performance, they were all soft goals to concede and it’s entirely down to us’."
Stones were behind inside six minutes when George Allen rose highest to power a poorly defended header into the top corner. And they never really recovered from this early blow.
They might have levelled on 17 minutes when West Ham loanee Nathan Mavila skinned his marker and crossed for Luke O'Nien, whose shot looked destined for the far corner until Jake Larkins somehow clawed it behind for an excellent save.
Stortford doubled the lead on 24 minutes, Jefferson Louis disastrously miscuing a clearance from a corner allowing Suarez to easily fire past North from six yards.
Louis was the villain of that piece, but within a minute he was the home fans' hero again first winning a penalty and then sending Larkins the wrong way from the spot. Stones rallied and had their best spell of the match.
Jonny Wright came within inches of an equaliser just beyond the half hour, but Stones were lucky not to concede again when Suarez outpaced the defence only to cross the ball behind teammate Greg Pearson.
The home crowd endured more disappointment in the second period when the buoyant away side’s two-goal cushion was restored only five minutes after the break; Michael Corcoran clumsily and inexplicably bundled over Ashley Miller and Suarez stroked home the penalty.
Stones boss Bartlett responded with a double substitution and the changes almost brought immediate reward with Mavila hitting the outside of the post from a good Louis cross.
Louis was then denied by a brilliant block from Allen, but Stortford sealed the points on 82 minutes. With Stones pushing up in numbers, sub Matt Ball lost out in a stretched midfield and sub Bobby Joe Taylor broke clear to fire beyond a hopelessly exposed North.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Watts, Parker, Hamblin, Corcoran, Wright, O'Nien, Louis, Davies, Mavila
Subs used: McGleish, Ball, Lucien, Not used: Cronin, Martin