Wealdstone received a big wake-up call yesterday as they fell to a surprising 3-0 defeat at mid-table Oxford City.

A dominant and enterprising first period from the Stones made this defeat more puzzling and frustrating but once they conceded via the home side’s best player, Kabongo Tshimanga with 20 minutes to go they alarmingly fell apart, giving away two late penalties both converted by Matt Paterson.

Stones had Connor Stevens back in their starting line-up with Matt Lench taking up a midfield berth, the 3G surface dictating selection to a degree. The surface undoubtedly took time to get used to with the heavily rubberised pitch more akin to a dry sandpit throwing up dust at every bounce.

Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Concord Rangers, the visitors started very brightly and could have nicked a goal even after one minute’s play but Bradley Hudson-Odoi’s touch was too heavy after good work from Godrey Poku.

City set an early pattern of looking threatening down the right flank on the break with Tshimanga a real handful for the visitors’ defence.

David Pratt went close on 12 minutes when he chased down a poor pass and should have netted but Craig King stopped well to avert embarrassment. Lench then took a punt from fully 30 yards but his effort dipped over.

City pressed hard all over the pitch and Stones midfield were being hurried and to some degree this stifled their overly measured passing game through the middle.

Both sides had good possession but again Stones went closest to opening the scoring when Hudson-Odoi’s powerful strike was pushed away by King at the near post.

Danny Green almost found the net on the half-hour mark with a spectacular effort on the turn from distance but the ball smashed off the bar. Pratt went even closer with another effort that King saved for what would later create a clean sheet platform to win the contest for his side.

City looked the more likely after the break but Stones remained comfortable enough in defence, even though Eddie Jones had a decent effort but was wide of the mark early on.

The match became something of a war of attrition reminding those on the pitch, and off it, that all games at this level, irrespective of early league positions, are a big battle from start to finish.

Pratt had yet another half chance, but the home side defended strongly and gradually began to assume some real control. The turning point came when Bobby Wilkinson rolled the dice around the 60th minute and threw on all three substitutes to shake things up in an effort to win the game.

This tactic has often worked to excellent effect in the past but on this occasion the changes seemed to disrupt Stones and strengthen the away side’s hand. Quite why was a mystery but suddenly the away side looked very flat.

Former Boston United striker Tshimanga finally got his chance on 70 minutes. He danced around three defenders and lashed past Jonathan North to break the deadlock.

Stones had no answers and City now pressed forward to ram home their advantage. Two late penalties were conceded under pressure, the first by Freddie Grant and soon after by Rhys Tyler who barged his man off the ball for a clear spot kick and there was no way back for the visitors.

Wealdstone are next in action next Saturday at The Vale versus Truro City, kick-off 3pm

Wealdstone: North, Tyler, Grant, Stevens, Okimo, Poku, White, Lench, Pratt, Green, Hudson-Odoi. Subs used: Bubb, Monakana, Clark. Not used: Sheppard, Wilson