RYMAN PREMIER LEAGUE: Wealdstone 2 Bury Town 3
WEALDSTONE’s hopes of finishing top play-off candidates took a massive blow as they suffered a first defeat in 14 matches against Bury last night.
A Chris Moore header and Scott McGleish’s close-range finish saw Stones turn round a 1-0 half-time deficit only for unexpected frailties to see them trail once more with 14 minutes left.
Hopes now lay with one of the late show comebacks which have been a trademark of games at the Vale this season, but although the outstanding Chris Moore hit the bar late on this proved one occasion too many.
Moore was given a rare start and got an early sight of a goal , hooking the ball over the bar in the third minute.
Just a minute later Scott McGleish latched onto a James Hammond cross to fire a low shot which Marcus Garnham in the Blues’ goal brilliantly clawed away from the near post.
McGleish tested Garnham with another volley after a cross from the left, but the keeper clung on once more.
Stones’ early momentum was lost and the visitors should have led on 25 minutes when the home defence was caught square by a ball over the top and Sands sprinted clear to shoot a whisker wide with Jonathan North beaten.
The scare provoked Stones and they saw a Brooks cross beaten out by Garnham, who also pounced on a weak header from Esmond James.
The threat on the counter remained and another Sands volley was palmed behind by North.
From the resulting corner the visitors were closer still as Tann’s header looked destined for the far corner until it was cleared off the line by Brooks.
The goal which was coming arrived on 33 minutes when Jordan Patrick laid the ball off for Sam Reed who curled a right foot shot into the far corner.
Stones first threat for nearly half an hour saw Moore drill just wide of the far post from McGleish’s flick on.
The former Brentford man also hit the chest of Garnham from Pett’s lay off after good work on the right from Brooks, but the hosts deservedly trailed at the break.
Stung by whatever was said at half-time, Stones produced a blistering first 10 minutes after the restart to turn the game on its head.
Lee Chappell had already come within inches of tapping in Wes Parker’s header, before the equaliser came on 48 minutes when James found space on the right and fired in a perfect cross which Moore glanced into the far corner.
The turnaround was completed on 55 minutes when Chappell played a one-two with Moore down the left before fizzing in a cross from the by-line for McGleish to add a poacher’s finish at the near post.
However, the lead lasted less than two minutes before a needless free-kick was conceded and the delivery by Reed missed everyone in the penalty area including North who allowed the ball into the far corner.
Peter Dean replaced Pett with 20 minutes left, but it was Bury who went ahead again with 14 to play.
The home defence had several chances to clear but failed and Sands seized on the loose ball to scuff his shot into the far corner.
Richard Jolly was thrown on in the desperate search of a leveller and they were close with seven to go when Chappell’s ball forward saw Moore swivel and crash in a thunderous shot which Garnham did brilliantly to tip onto the bar, allowing defender Tom Bullard to clear behind before Stones could force in the rebound.
There was one more goalmouth scramble before this damaging defeat was confirmed.