STONES PLAYERS STARTING TO THINK BIG
WEALDSTONE BOSS SAVOURS WIN OVER FORMER SIDE
HARRY Goodger says Wealdstone FC are “going places” after a lastgasp goal at home to Hungerford Town on Saturday made it a seventh straight home win, and seven games unbeaten.
Bobby Wilkinson’s shock departure as manager of the visitors in August meant there was something of an atmosphere around The Stones’ Grosvenor Vale ground on Saturday.
Goodger, one of the players to swap Hungerford for Wealdstone, said: “Funnily enough, they booed me when I came on, so that’s probably why I celebrated. I played for them for six years for Bobby and moved back to Kent last year so I was playing for a side locally down there and as soon as Bobby called me I came straight away, he’s the only manager I’ve ever really wanted to play for.
“There’s so much belief in the ground, I feel like we’re going places, big-time. We’ve nicked three points and to get up the table that’s what you’ve got to do.”
Abo Eisa slotted home a last-minute penalty to win it for Wealdstone, – and crank up the ill feeling – having been denied moments earlier.
It was a tense, frustrating encounter for much of the game with the pre-match build-up centred around Wilkinson’s decision to switch clubs.
The Stones boss made just one change from the strong side that started in the midweek Middlesex Senior Cup win over Hayes & Yead- ing, Sam Cox having recovered from an ankle injury to replace Matty Whichelow.
The first half had few chances, with Eisa swerving Wealdstone’s best effort wide just nine minutes into the game. Nicholas Bignall then had two good opportunities for the visitors just before half-time but put both wide.
It wasn’t until the final 15 minutes that the game sparked into life.
Ryan Sellers’ free-kick brought a good save out of young Hungerford keeper Marcus Beauchamp, making his debut after Reading loanee Lewis Ward left for Aldershot during the week.
Hungerford then had two great chances to take a late lead. After some pinball in the Stones box, the ball fell to Anton Rogers on the edge of the area but he skewed a shot wide. Shortly after, Paul Stonehouse forced a spectacular low stop from Jonathan North from a similar spot.
Stones fans were seething in the 83rd minute after Eisa was booked for simulation in the penalty area when clear contact appeared to have been made.
However deep into added time, Eisa again collected the ball in the box only to be bundled over and referee Jacob Miles this time pointed to the spot.
The young winger then showed great composure and character to step up and coolly convert the penalty past Beauchamp and send the massed crowd behind the goal into raptures.
A recall for fit-again Sam Cox was the only change to Bobby Wilkinson’s XI on Saturday