Wealdstone won’t give up play-off charge says Gordon Bartlett
PUBLISHED: 14:14 21 March 2017
Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett is not giving up the possibility of making the Vanarama National League South play-offs – although he admits it is unlikely.
Two home draws this week have stretched the club’s unbeaten run in the league to 10, leaving them six points behind the top five.
On Saturday a Joe White penalty cancelled out a Louie Theophanous strike for Chelmsford City, one of the sides currently in the play-off places, while on Monday a late Matty Whichelow goal rescued a point against Concord Rangers after Stones had Aryan Tajbakhsh sent off for use of an elbow.
And speaking after the Concord game, Bartlett is still keeping positive about his side’s chances.
He said: “It was a great strike by Matty and we had a couple of chances after that. We were very much on the front foot and if we’d played the full game the same way we did in the last 20 minutes, then who knows?
“It wasn’t to be but that’s now 10 games unbeaten. Two months ago we were struggling but we showed resilience after going down to 10 and showed desire.
“Although we’re disappointed, it keeps the unbeaten run going and we’ve still got a chance [of making the play-offs]. We go to Bath on Saturday and if we can nick one, who knows?
“It’s unlikely but it’s been one of those years and we’re still in with a chance. We’ve managed the difficult situations well.
“This time of the year is when the points really matter and we’ve still got seven games to go. It’s highly unlikely but we’re not giving it up.”
Monday’s game saw Concord have the better of play for the most part, and they took the lead just five minutes after Tajbakhsh’s dismissal.
Bartlett was philosophical about the decision.
He said: “They came right out of the blocks. They’re a very good side and they are on a good run but then so are we.
“We played too deep for a start and possibly gave them too much run. Our possession wasn’t good enough. We didn’t do things sharp enough and we gave the ball away.
“At half-time we hoped we’d improve down the slope and then we lose Aryan.
I thought it was harsh from where I was, particularly as [Jordan Chiedozie] had been booked and then warned and then warned and then warned again. Our lad does it once and gets a red card.
“But I’ll have to wait until I see the video. I didn’t think it was but if it is an elbow then you’ll have to accept it.”