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National League: Eastbourne 0 Wealdstone 3

PUBLISHED: 08:13 24 February 2019

Wealdstone boss Bobby Wilkinson (pic Dan Finill/dfinill photography)

Wealdstone boss Bobby Wilkinson (pic Dan Finill/dfinill photography)

DFinillPhotography

Wealdstone convincingly defeated Eastbourne Borough at Priory Lane, extending their unbeaten run to eight matches in the National League South, as they push towards an end of season play-off place.

First-half goals from top goal scorer David Pratt and the lively Tarryn Allarakhia, along with a second-half goal from in-form Daniel Green, led the Stones to another impressive away win.

The match started evenly with both sides trying to settle into the tempo of the match, but neither side was able to gain the ascendency.

However, as the first half progressed, the Stones began to dictate play, enjoying the lion’s share of the possession.

Pratt led the line in his usual industrious fashion, and his persistence was rewarded on 33 minutes as he powerfully headed home past Eastbourne’s keeper Sam Howes, with Reading loanee Ramarni Medford-Smith providing the assist with his inviting cross from the left wing.

The Stones continued to increase the pressure on the Sports in the closing stages of the first half, with Green’s free kick producing a decent save from Howes.

And in the 41st minute Allarakhia, who had been a constant threat for the Stones, broke the offside trap to latch onto a lofted through ball from Green, prompting Howes to rashly bring him down outside the box.

As the last man, Howes was shown a straight red card by referee Jack Packman, reducing Eastbourne to 10 men just before the break.

Allarakhia was then duly compensated for his energetic display in added time, skilfully turning the Sports’ defender, and surging forward with the ball to coolly slot home past Howes’ replacement, James Earl.

The Stones went into half time with a deserved and imposing 2-0 lead, having dominated proceedings in the first half.

Despite a half time change for Eastbourne, with Andrew Briggs replacing Marvin Hamilton, Wealdstone started the brighter of the two sides, with Poku thundering a long-distance effort onto the crossbar in the 46th minute.

As the second half progressed, the hosts had a couple of goalbound strikes from Martin and Ljubicic excellently blocked by Stones’ defensive stalwart Conor Stevens.

Wealdstone then continued to control play, and in the 59th minute, Poku again unleashed a long-range effort, but this time it was charged down by an Eastbourne defender.

On 68 minutes, Eastbourne were reduced to nine men as an injured Lloyd Dawes was carried off the pitch to receive further medical attention.

The Stones utilised this numerical advantage to dictate the pace of play, and enjoy large spells of possession.

Bobby Wilkinson implemented a double substitution on 76 minutes, with Christian Smith being replaced by Simon Mensah, and goalscorer Allarakhia making way for Reece Mitchell.

Mitchell started brightly wide on the right wing, drawing a foul from an Eastbourne defender, and the resultant free kick was whipped in by Green, finding the back of the net, as it eluded Earl for a commanding 3-0 lead.

As the second half drew to a close, Wealdstone pressed for a fourth goal, with Medford-Smith firing a blistering shot from the edge of the box, and producing a brilliant save from Earl on 83 minutes.

Wilkinson made his final substitution soon after, replacing Eoin McKeown for the tireless goalscorer Pratt, and Wealdstone’s final effort came from Jeffrey Monakana, firing over from the edge of the box in the 89th minute.

The Stones remain in eighth position, one outside of the play-offs, as they welcome fourth-placed Billericay Town to the Vale on Monday at 7.45pm.

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