See Match Highlights Here: http://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/match-info/match-centre/1-2850749
Wealdstone achieved a highly dramatic second-half turnaround at Treyew Road on Saturday with striker David Pratt notching a rapid-fire brace of goals to not only break his duck but also to kill off an in-form Truro City side that had looked very comfortable with a single goal lead in a scrappy first period. Stones sealed the win with another very assured Danny Green penalty.
Having made the long 300-mile trip into Cornwall on the Friday, Stones were in no mood to see the game called off due to the prevailing ‘Cornish Mist’ and Manager Bobby Wilkinson revealed after the match that he ensured he was present for the early Saturday morning pitch inspection. It appeared that the home officials wanted the game off but Wilkinson and final arbiter, Referee Samuel Allison were having none of it and the match proceeded on a soft but perfectly playable surface.
Stones opted to start the contest with a single striker up front but after a reasonable first few minutes it was apparent that this tactic was going to be hard work against a pressing White Tigers side that were finding space in the wide areas and playing three at the back.
Stones were rocked after only 5 minutes when a loose ball found Ben Harding and he lashed home past an exposed Jonathan North.
The away side’s most effective outlet, as the half progressed, was loanee Iffy Allen who teased and danced his way on the right flank but couldn’t quite make the link up with the forwards when it mattered.
City looked good value for their lead and continued to look the more positive and assured with their forward play and were winning corners as the pressure on the Stones back line increased.
Stones best chance came from a deep run from the ever-hard-working Pratt but he fired over under pressure; as the half concluded Eddie Oshodi had a header well held by keeper Tom McHale.
Whether it was the half-time Wilkinson hair dryer treatment or the change to two up front with the introduction of Dan Fitchett, Stones looked a transformed side after the turnaround.
Stones were immediately on the offensive and from an initial corner they drew level within two minutes. The relief of scoring his first Stones goal was there for all to see as Pratt turned in a scrambled opportunity as he celebrated with the fans. But he wasn’t done. From the re-start the former Chippenham Town striker broke free from a great five man build up and he fired clinically past McHale leaving the White Tigers shell shocked and trailing.
Stones then took full control but to the Tiger’s credit they still had a sting in the tails – none more so than when the excellent Marcus Johnson-Schuser cleared off the line.
But on 64 minutes Stones sealed the points. Fitchett, whose hold up play made a telling contribution, was upended in the box and Danny Green coolly fired home the spot kick for 3-1.
City still had time to rattle North’s upright but Stones defence held firm to ensure that the long trip was very worthwhile.
Stones are in action this Tuesday evening in the Semi-Final of the Middlesex Senior Cup at The Vale and back in league action versus Dartford, also at The Vale, on Saturday, kick-off 15:00.
WEALDSTONE: North, Johnson-Schuser, Okimo, Gayle, Oshodi, Cox, Whichelow, Wellard, Pratt, Green, Allen. Subs used: Fitchett, Sellers, Goodger, Sellers. Not used: Wilson, Otudeko
By Nick DuGard