From the sublime...
GORDON BARTLETT was left ruing the manager-of-the-month curse after Wealdstone suffered a 5-1 hammering on Saturday.
The Stones’ trip to the seaside turned into a disaster as they crashed at Eastbourne Borough in Vanarama South.
Manager Bartlett’s accolade had been earned by Wealdstone’s 13-game unbeaten run – stretching back to February 11 – which had prompted hopes of a late push into the play-offs.
But the visitors never got to grips with the 3G surface on the south coast and within six minutes were behind after Jonathan North parried Nathan Pinney’s shot to Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain – the younger brother of Arsenal’s Alex – who applied the finish.
It would be 3-0 with 30 minutes gone as the 18-year-old OxladeChamberlain bagged his brace and Jamie Taylor lobbed North from 30 yards.
Dan Flitchett gave the Stones a lifeline before the break and they had a decent start to the second half, Joe White and Aryan Tajbakhsh going close. But the visitors were killed off in the 56th minute by a Taylor goal with Kiran Khinda-Jones rounding off a miserable day on the hour.
“I’ve always said I would rather win manager-of-the-month for April as there would be no games left I could lose afterwards,” said Bartlett. “The scoreline looks as though we got absolutely smashed but they cleared a couple off the line, we hit the woodwork three times and it was pretty much 50-50 in possession. But we were punished for our mistakes and they were clinical in front of goal.
“It was a big task to get to fifth when we were nine points behind with six games to go and it’s an even bigger ask to get 12 points from five games. I’ll definitely deserve manager-of-the month if we can bounce back to that!”
Meanwhile, Hayes & Yeading are entering a crucial week in their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division survival bid.
United’s 1-0 loss to Banbury at the weekend, courtesy of a Conor McDonagh goal, leaves them four points from safety, albeit with a game in hand over Kings Langley.
United were due to take on bottom side Cinderford at home last night (Tuesday) and host Stratford Town on Friday night.
“Two wins would put a lot of pressure on the teams around us,” said United’s joint-manager Paul Hughes. “We have some winnable games, especially if we put in the performances we have recently.
“Every game is different though, it’ll go down to whether we get the bounce of the ball or decisions go our way and other things out of our control. We’ve got our backs against the wall and we need to win four out of the next five.
“We don’t want to be going to Merthyr on the last day needing a win. The boys have started to knit and now we need to start scoring.”
In Division One Central, Uxbridge were unable to stop inform Kempston Rovers from recording a fourth victory in a row.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 32nd minute through substitute Jake Newman but the teams went in level after Jimmy Hartley struck just before the break.
As the game looked as though it was heading towards a draw, Connor Calcutt got his head to a freekick to make it 2-1.
Northwood lost 4-0 to champions-elect Royston.
Gordon Bartlett is all smiles as he receives his manager-of-themonth award on Saturday, left, before seeing a 5-1 defeat that killed any lingering play-off hopes for the Stones