Stones denied in cup final warm-up as big kick-off looms at the weekend
WEALDSTONE warmed up for Saturday’s big kick-off with a 1-0 loss at Hampton & Richmond Borough in the Middlesex Senior Cup final.
The only goal of the game came from two of Hampton’s summer recruits, with Taurean Roberts crossing for Max Kretzschmar to glance a header over Jonathan North just before half time.
The Stones were without several players including two cup-tied new recruits.
Despite the game being moved to pre-season, following last season’s controversial player ineligibility issues at Hampton, the match was anything but friendly with the hosts’ Charlie Wassmer sent off for an off-theball incident in the 70th minute.
From the half hour mark Hampton took control. Brendan Kiernan made a mazy run into the box, beating Josh Hill before swerving a shot goalward, but Jonathan North stopped it well.
Kretzschmar, who won the Surrey Senior Cup with Woking two months ago, almost opened the scoring with a double effort, having a shot smartly parried by North before he smashed the rebound into the side-netting.
On 43 minutes Roberts robbed Ciaron Brown as he tried to shield the ball out of play and crossed for Kretzschmar who arrowed a perfectly placed header over North. The Stones’ best chance came just after the interval. From a corner, Eddie Oshodi saw his header deflect into the path of Dan Fitchett but he fired over.
Hampton should have put the game to bed on the hour; an incisive counter saw them four on one and Kiernan squared to Ryan Moss but he was denied brilliantly by North.
The Stones kick off their National League South season at home to Concord Rangers on Saturday (ko 3pm) and visit St Albans on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).