Wealdstone boss insists title favourites can cope without injured former Leyton Orient striker Scott McGleish

Harrow Times: The Stones will have to cope without the injured Scott McGleish: Steve Foster/Wealdstone FC The Stones will have to cope without the injured Scott McGleish: Steve Foster/Wealdstone FC

Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett insists his side can cope without injured striker Scott McGleish as they close in on the Ryman Premier Division title.

The former Leyton Orient and Barnet forward suffered a calf muscle injury during Monday’s 2-0 win over Billericay Town and could miss the rest of the season.

But Bartlett said: “We want it to be just a few games from his point of view as much as mine. It’s a blow but Johnny Wright has returned from a back problem and other players will will step up to the plate.

“We have had numerous problems with players being out this season but we have managed to cope so we will manage without him if we need to.

“I’ve got nothing but praise for Scott and his worth ethic is phenomenal. It would be typical if he works away in the treatment room to make sure he comes back as quickly as possible.”

The Stones could be crowned champions as early as next Tuesday should results go their way. Wealdstone have a ten-point lead at the top of the league and only need four wins from their final eight matches to secure their place in the Conference South.

Bartlett said: “If we get the points and other sides don’t then we will be one step closer. We were 13 points clear and now it’s ten but other teams are running out of games.

“People have asked me if I’m preparing for the Conference South but I’ve not even started thinking about it yet because we’ve still got to get out of this division first.”

The Stones had to be patient on Monday night before a penalty from Sean Cronin fired them into a 70th minute lead.

Wright marked his comeback with the second goal late on to seal the victory for Wealdstone.

There was a record crowd at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday as 1,151 supporters watched the Stones draw 2-2 at home to second-placed Dulwich Hamlet.

Goals from McGleish and Tom Pett gave the hosts a 2-0 lead but Dulwich fought back through long-range strikes from Tommy Kavanagh and Ahmed Deen.

Bartlett, whose side travel to East Thurrock United tonight and Met Police on Saturday, said: “I would definitely have taken that before the game but we were a bit disappointed because we were in complete control.

“We were 2-0 up but tried to protect that lead rather than going for more. They were there for the taking but in the players’ minds there was an element of protection.”

There was more good news for the club as Wealdstone Ladies won the Thames Valley Division One league title after beating Barton Rovers 2-0 on Sunday.

With one league game left, the side secured top spot scoring 87 goals and only conceding 16. The team now have their sights set on the County Cup at the end of this month.

Wealdstone Ladies won the treble in 2010-11 and then finished second in the Surrey League the following season. The team remained unbeaten during the entire 2012-13 campaign in the Thames Valley League.

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