STONES SQUEEZE THROUGH IN TOUGH TROPHY TIE–
DANNY Green admitted it was “job done” as Wealdstone made it through to the second round of the FA Trophy.
Ex-Stone Sean Cronin grabbed the only goal of the game, putting through his own net as Isthmian League Premier Division side Wingate & Finchley put up a hell of a fight.
The tie was a repeat of last year’s first round, with Cronin sent off against Wealdstone in a 2-2 draw at the Vale. The Stones needed an extra-time replay win to go through last year and this year’s game was just as even, with both sides mostly restricted to shots from range. Green, captain for the day, said: “It’s a case of job done, exactly that. We played them last year, they took us to their place, we wanted to avoid that this time, so it’s job done.
“It’ a privilege to lead the boys out, always a pleasure to be chosen.”
Although Wealdstone almost took the lead inside ten seconds after Abo Eisa’s penetrative run played in Sellers, he rounded Shane Gore but his final touch was too heavy and went out of play.
Jonathan North was the busiest of the two keepers in the first half, denying Reece Beckles-Richards and Luke Ifil with two smart stops.
Sellers almost grabbed a goal against his former side when his 35-yard strike ricocheted off of Ahmet Rifat, but luckily for Wingate, Gore was alert to tip over.
On 50 minutes the Stones lead, Eisa beat two defenders on the left before cutting inside and smashing a low cross off of Cronin and into his own net.
Neither side had any more killer chances until injury time. A ball was played into the box to Cronin before he expertly layed off for Marc Charles-Smith but he shot wide when it was probably easier to hit the target and send the tie into a replay.
Green almost put the tie to bed afterward but Gore reacted well to tip wide.
And he wants to add more goals to his game.
He added: “He’s [manager Bobby Wilkinson] been good for me, he’s played me when it’s right to do so, he’s been a breath of fresh air, the intensity has gone up, standards have gone up, he’s very hugnry and ambitious.
“I’ve always got a goal in my locker and I hope to get a few more goals this season.”
Wealdstone will play at home to Hereford in the second round.