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