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Wealdstone boss Gordon Bartlett wants promotion party to be capped with a victory
Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett insists it will not feel right lifting the title this weekend if they fail to end the season on a high.
The Stones were thrashed 4-0 at home to Kingstonian on Saturday before losing 4-2 at Billericay Town on Monday.
Ryman Premier Division champions Wealdstone, who clinched the championship on Tuesday of last week, will lift the trophy after Saturday’s home game against Canvey Island and Bartlett wants them to ensure there is a party atmosphere.
Bartlett said: “The league trophy and medals will be given out after the match and we’re looking at having 1,000 people here.
“We want a party atmosphere and for that you need entertainers. We need to be the entertainers this Saturday and to do that we need to win the game. We want to go out with a bang.
“It certainly won’t feel right lifting the trophy after a poor result. We want to go out on a high and those two games simply weren’t good enough.”
Bartlett added: “It should be a wonderful occasion with a lot of people coming down and so much hard work has gone into it.
“A lot of people want to enjoy themselves on Saturday and we will enjoy it but there is a job to be done for next season now.”
The Stones will be without goalkeeper Jonathan North for the Middlesex Senior Cup final against Hampton & Richmond Borough next month after he was sent off in the defeat to Kingstonian.
North brought down Matthew Drage in the area which forced defender Sean Cronin to go in goal. Andre McCollin netted twice, including the penalty, while Drage and Sam Akinde sealed the win.
Bartlett said: “To lose your keeper after 17 minutes is not the ideal way to celebrate winning the title. I thought it was an extremely harsh sending off.”
The Stones also lost at Billericay Town two days later despite getting off to a promising start.
Wealdstone opened the scoring when Michael Malcolm fired home after just four minutes. But efforts from Richard Halle and Ryan Scott gave the hosts a 2-1 lead at the break.
Callum Dunne hit a long-range strike for Billericay’s third before Jonny Wright pulled one back for Bartlett’s side. Isaac Layne sealed victory for Billericay.
Bartlett said: “Having won the league, there was always going to be a bit of a lull but to concede eight goals in two games is disappointing.
“I thought we started well at Billericay but then hit the comfort button and never got out of second gear.”
A special legends game between Wealdstone and Watford will be played at The Vale on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
Former Blackburn Rovers striker Simon Garner has confirmed he will play, along with many ex-Wealdstone players including Fergus Moore and Chris Walton.
Watford’s all-time top-scorer Luther Blissett, 1990s midfield pair Richard Johnson and Micah Hyde and 1999 play-off final hero Allan Smart will also play.
Tickets are available on the day and are £5 including a programme, with concessions costing £2. Any profit will be donated to Wealdstone Football Club.
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