SHOT-SHY STONES NEED TO REDISCOVER FORM
WEALDSTONE BOSS VOWS TO GET STONES FIRING AGAIN
GORDON BARTLETT admits he has his work cut out to address a crisis of confidence at Wealdstone.
The Stones looked devoid of ideas and attacking threat in Monday night’s sterile goalless draw at home to relegation-haunted Whitehawk – a game in which neither goalkeeper made a meaningful save.
Bartlett said his team were a long way off the level of that which started the season so well and a month ago despatched Conference National Southport from the Trophy. However, he cautioned fans against confusing lack of confidence with lack of desire.
“I have questioned a little bit of desire at times this year, but the quality has been there,” he said. “Tonight, I don’t question the desire but I do question the quality.”
“There does look to be a lack of confidence in the group. Here we are five or six games later and from Southport – where it was flowing football and looking very good indeed – to tonight, where we could not string two or three passes together.”
In fairness to Stones’ long-standing manager, circumstances meant only five survivors of the momentous day at Southport started against the Hawks.
His two biggest goal threats – Elliott Benyon and Matt Wichelow – were still sidelined by injury and Ricky Wellard joined the list of those with a sick note after limping off just after half-time on Monday.
Bartlett though, was in no mood to seek excuses, vowing instead to continue the search for solutions ahead of Saturday’s trip to basement boys Margate.
“We can’t blame injuries, we just have to get on with it,” he said. “It was poor quality all round. We worked hard and I don’t think they had a proper chance did they? But on the ball, we didn’t create anything.
“People have said about playing two up front so we’ve gone two up front, then three up front, but Johnny Wright’s shot with the last kick of the game was almost the only shot we had.
“It is different personnel, a different formation, so we can’t say it is for want of changing things or sticking with the same old people.
“There has to be a lot of thinking in terms of how we shuffle the pack again and try and get it back to that confidence and football we were playing [in the] early part of the season when we were winning games and looking decent.”
Picture: Alistair Wilson AN114503 Wealdstone’s Ricky Wellard, pictured in his Wimbledon days, limped out of Monday’s goalless draw