A FIXTURE pile-up has forced Wealdstone to play four games in seven days this week, but manager Gordon Bartlett has no complaints about the Ryman League’s reluctance to extend the length of the season.
The Stones cruised past Margate on Tuesday night but must tonight (Thursday) take on promotion rivals Concord Rangers, before travelling to Wingate & Finchley on Saturday and locking horns with Harrow Borough in an Easter Monday derby.
Bartlett has added more bodies in the form of Stefan Bailey and Scott McGleish to help with the congestion, and hope the Evo-Stik League agree to extend their campaign by a week to help ease the pressure on teams gunning for glory.
A statement released by the Ryman League on Tuesday evening stated their intention to fulfill all fixtures by the planned April 27 finish date, however Bartlett will not be appealing the decision despite a daunting end of season programme.
“Four games in seven days is a lot,” he said.
“You hear the pros moaning about it, but these lads have got to go out to work as well before a long trip that they won’t get back from until the early hours, then we’ve got to ask them to do it all again on Thursday night.
“Everybody is in the same boat.
“If they decide to extend [the finish date] it will be great, if they don’t then we just get on with it. It’s the right length, but we should certainly have played more games in midweek at the beginning of the season.
“You must play earlier games when the pitches are fine and the weather is great, that’s my only criticism.
“It’s very simple and you’ve normally got a big squad at that stage, which helps too.”
Tom Pett smashed in two at Margate on Tuesday night in a 4-2 win for the Stones, McGleish also capping a fine debut with a goal.
Jonathan North was again in goal, almost exactly a year since he suffered a badly broken leg against Canvey Island.
“It was a fabulous result,” Bartlett added.
“Concord drew, Whitehawk drew and we won away at Margate with five players out. We’re delighted and all in all we played well.
“Scott got his first goal. His movement was very good.
“We’ve been struggling to get goals recently and we’ve come away from home and scored four so I think the impact [McGleish] has made speaks for itself.
“You can only do one at a time and we keep saying that if we go about our business and focus on our games then the rest will take care of itself. We’ve done the first one, now we move onto Concord, and once that’s over we go to Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Saturday’s postponed match at Hampton & Richmond has been rearranged for Thursday, April 18.