WEALDSTONE recently turned their back on a Fulham forward after refusing to be held to ransom over the loan’s terms.
Stones boss Gordon Bartlett revealed this week he enquired about the Cottagers’ striker Richard Peniket, not once but twice, in a bid to boost his firepower.
However, the plug was pulled when the Premiership outfit tried to dictate the team Bartlett put on the park.
“Fulham wanted guarantees he would play every game and we could not give them that. We’ve never given anyone guarantees like that.
“We first enquired six weeks or so ago when Richard (Jolly) was going on honeymoon, because he was a boy who was different to what we had, but at that stage he went to Telford.
“We then asked again, but because we would not give the guarantee they wanted, he went to Farnborough.”
Losing out on the talented youngster means a striker remains Bartlett’s priority with deadline day (March 31) approaching.
His need is acute, with Chris Moore about to begin a three-match suspension and Jolly experiencing what for him is a drought; just one goal in seven games since tying the knot.
It means other than the 6-1 trouncing of Lewes last month and despite their impressive run, Stones are short of goals.
“If you take the Lewes game out you would have to say that to be challenging we need more goals,” said Bartlett.
“Whether it is down to those providing the ammunition or those firing the bullets, it is something we are looking at.
“The other consideration is that Richard (Jolly) is retiring at the end of the season so we need a striker if we do achieve promotion to Blue Square South, so we will take the opportunity if it arises.”
Bartlett’s other big decision ahead of five games in 10 days, starting at Hampton on Saturday, is over the battle for the goalkeeper’s shirt.
Rikki Banks has been outstanding during the campaign, but missed last week’s trip to Thurrock as he became a dad for the first time to son Freddie.
While he was holding the baby, last season’s number one, Jonathan North, produced several outstanding stops to ensure a goalless draw in Essex, leaving Bartlett in a quandary ahead of what he expects to be a tough test at The Beveree.
“Most managers would love to have one of those keepers,” he added.
“Jonathan was outstanding last year and this year Rikki, though a different style, has been just as effective. It’s a nice headache to have.
“At the beginning of the season I would have said Hampton were one of the favourites.
“They have fallen off the playoff pace, but have good players who will enjoy the atmosphere our fans will bring and I expect them to raise their game against us.”