Wealdstone boss delighted with wins over Margate and Lewes

The Stones were in excellent form this weekend: Steve Foster/Wealdstone FC

The Stones were in excellent form this weekend: Steve Foster/Wealdstone FC

First published in Local Sport by

Wealdstone boss Gordon Bartlett was delighted with his side’s two home wins this week which kept them firmly within reach of Ryman Premier League leaders Whitehawk.

Summing up the 2-1 defeat of Margate on Saturday and the 6-1 thrashing of Lewes on Monday night, Bartlett said: “I’m delighted. Six points in three days is exactly what the doctor ordered. We’ve now got five away games on the trot and I felt a contrast of satisfaction in the way we won the two games.

“On Saturday, it was 1-0 to Margate for 85 minutes and then a combination of substitutions and a change in formation contributed to us scoring in the last five minutes. We grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat.

“There was euphoria around the ground after the game from beating our promotion rivals and Saturday set us up nicely for Monday.

“Against Lewes, our first-half performance was outstanding. The movement and one-touch football was some of the best we’ve played all season.”

Left back Lee Chappell hit a 30-yard thunderbolt and Richard Jolly tapped in on Monday but understandably, it was four-goal hero Peter Dean who Bartlett reserved the most praise for following the 6-1 result.

Bartlett said: “I want to give a special mention to Peter. His work ethic has been exceptional this season and it’s nice to see him getting in the box to score.”

The Stones raced into a 5-0 lead before half-time against mid-table Lewes and comfortably saw out the rest of the game to give them their second win in front of their home fans.

Dean opened the scoring with a powerful header from Chappell’s well-directed cross in the tenth minute.

Esmond James picked out Jolly who bundled the ball in from close range after half an hour and Dean’s second goal arrived when Chappell again crossed for the marksman to slot home from six yards just three minutes later.

In the 40th minute, Chappell unleashed his spectacular strike to make it 4-0 to the Stones before Dean popped up with an overhead kick from Jolly’s chipped cross a minute later which left keeper Kieron Thorp helpless and Lewes virtually beaten with not even a full half completed.

Steve Brinkhurst nodded home in stoppage time to give the beleaguered visitors a glimmer of hope but Dean’s fourth goal – a toepoke into the top corner – in the 49th minute extinguished any thoughts of an incredible comeback for Lewes.

At 6-1, the game fizzled out but there was still time for Wealdstone substitute Michael Alaile to receive his marching orders for being deemed the last man when bringing down Lewes’ Nathan Crabb on the stroke of full time.

The decision soured the evening a little for the Stones and Bartlett confirmed that the club are looking to overturn the dismissal.

Last weekend, a double strike from Wealdstone captain Wes Parker rescued the Stones from a defeat to their promotion rivals Margate. Dan Stubbs had put the visitors in front after only 90 seconds and Bartlett’s side had to wait until the final five minutes to turn the game around.

Bartlett’s side now lie ten points behind leaders Whitehawk with two games in hand, although Bartlett wasn’t getting carried away after a great few days for his side.

He said: “Your number one aim is to win it [the division]. We’ve just got to remain positive whether we finish first or in the play-offs.”

Wealdstone travel to near neighbours Hendon on Saturday hoping to build on their three-game winning streak.

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