Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by MAX HALL tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @lyetown­max

BOBBY WILKIN­SON’s reign as Weald­stone FC man­ager started in nail­bit­ing style with late, point-sav­ing goals at East­bourne Bor­ough on Satur­day and at home to Hemel Hemp­stead Town on Mon­day.

Daniel Fitch­ett struck two min­utes from time to res­cue a 1-1 draw for Wilkin­son’s side on Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day af­ter Ed­die Oshodi’s 84th-minute header had se­cured the same re­sult on Satur­day.

A bumper crowd of 966 turned out to greet the new man­ager on Mon­day.

The task fac­ing Wilkin­son, who achieved two pro­mo­tions with pre­vi­ous club Hungerford Town, has be­come clear with his new side’s po­si­tion in the fledg­ling Na­tional South ta­ble.

Al­though un­beaten in the new man­ager’s two games in charge, Weald­stone sit two places off the bot­tom of the ta­ble, in the third rel­e­ga­tion berth, af­ter a win and three draws from their open­ing seven league games, five of which were played un­der Gordon Bartlett.

“This is go­ing to be about to­geth­er­ness, pas­sion and the fu­ture – all things I know the Stones fans are about,” said Wilkin­son upon his ap­point­ment to the Grosvenor Vale hot­seat last week. “I have had a fan­tas­tic time at Hungerford but we are com­ing to Weald­stone to give it our all and I am look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenges ahead and to put a smile on faces.

“I know it will take time but we need to make im­prove­ments, es­pe­cially with our home form. We need to see fire and drive and we will work very hard with the lads to do this.”

Weald­stone chair­man Peter Mars­den said of the ap­point­ment: “Once we iden­ti­fied a need for a new man­ager for Weald­stone FC, the iden­tikit per­son would be some­one young, am­bi­tious and with a track record of suc­cess.

“We did not want a man­ager com­ing to the end of his ca­reer or a ‘name’ that knows noth­ing about non-league foot­ball.

“Throw in to the mix an un­der­stand­ing of what is needed to be chal­leng­ing for pro­mo­tion in this highly phys­i­cal league – that man is Bobby Wilkin­son.

“Bobby has in the past been courted by a num­ber of other clubs in our league and I am de­lighted he has pin­pointed Weald­stone as a club that has the am­bi­tions to match his own.”

The Stones visit East Thur­rock United on Satur­day (ko 3pm) and We­ston-su­per-Mare on Tues­day (ko 7.45pm) as Wilkin­son goes in search of his first win.

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