Striker search

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­

The Weald­stone boss was graft­ing as the Gazette went to press to ex­tend Sheck­le­ford’s stay from Ful­ham by an­other month, and Gould­ing’s from Ac­cring­ton to the end of the sea­son, as well as send­ing Nick Free­man back to Wy­combe.

He will then con­cen­trate his ef­forts on land­ing a new front­man to take some of the bur­den off El­liot Benyon. With Omar Koroma out of form, and Sahr Kabba, Romone Rose and Josh Hutchin­son out on loan, the Stones striker has been iso­lated up front as the lone striker.

Bartlett said: “The prob­lem has been the lack of form from Kabba and Koroma, al­though Sahr has started get­ting some goals for Har­row, which is what he needed.

“Johnny Wright has also been needed out wide, but we’ve played him up top a few times – it’s horses for cour­ses and can de­pend on who we’re play­ing.

“I’ve looked at bring­ing an­other striker in but it’s got to be the right one. There’s been a few avail­able but we’ve cho­sen not to do it.

“But we’re not alone in play­ing one up front these days. With El­liot’s work ethic, plus the flair and ca­pa­bil­ity of those be­hind him, it can work, and El­liot en­joys the lone fur­row.”

There was a mixed bag for the Stones over the fes­tive pe­riod, beat­ing Na­tional League South lead­ers Maiden­head United 2-1 on Box­ing Day be­fore los­ing the re­turn match 2-0 on Sun­day.

Bartlett said: “We’ve played the top team in the league four times now, they’ve all been close and we’ve beaten them twice. Maiden­head are big, strong, re­silient and don’t give a lot away, but they will be glad to see the back of us.

“But more im­por­tantly, af­ter strug­gling six weeks ago, we con- tinue to show signs of progress, and we’ve gone into the new year in a pos­i­tive mind­set.”

Bartlett is hop­ing to wel­come Gould­ing back from in­jury for Satur­day’s visit of Ebb­s­fleet, but fel­low de­fender Ciaron Brown is cur­rently rated at 50-50 af­ter go­ing off with a dead leg on Sun­day.

Bartlett added: “The two Maiden­head matches are the first time I’ve had the same 16 avail­able all sea­son, and we still have seven de­fend­ers in­jured or not avail­able.

“But we are look­ing to get Wes Parker, Jack Smith and Tom Ham­blin back play­ing soon, and we should be back to full strength by the end of the month.”

LONE STONE: Weald­stone for­ward El­liot Benyon is sur­rounded by Maiden­head play­ers on New Year’s Day. Pic­ture: Alan Palmer

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