Wealdstone claim bragging rights with win at Hemel
PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 November 2018
Vanarama National League South: Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Wealdstone 1
Wealdstone collected a first win in three Vanarama National League South matches with a 1-0 success at Hemel Hempstead Town.
There were three changes for Stones from the side the 3-3 draw against Bath City at the weekend, with an important return for Connor Stevens who was back following a head injury.
Danny Green came in to replace Bradley-Hudson Odoi, while Simon Mensah was reduced to the bench.
There was a gradual amount of early pressure from Hemel, with a couple of corners that were confidently cleared away by Bobby Wilkinson’s men.
However, the first chance came in the eighth minute when Rob Sinclair met the cross from the left, but his shot was blocked by Joe Payne.
The Grosvenor Vale outfit responded well, though, with Green firing a shot just wide as he looked lively early on.
Wealdstone were slowly building pressure and were having more possession than Town would’ve liked.
Their start was much more controlled and professional than against Bath and Stones had a number of successive corners that were dealt with well.
The Tudors were more effective and dangerous in the final third, even with less possession and there was a slight panic for the away team when Jonathan North and Glenn Wilson hesitated on a through ball.
Both sides were getting short sights of the opposition goal, with Wealdstone manager Wilkinson adamant that his side’s shape was kept with Hemel looking to get in behind.
Green saw a glimpse of the near post and drove a powerful low shot inches wide, before Scott Shulton responded by firing over the bar.
With 33 minutes gone, the deadlock was broken when a rare short corner was swung in by Rhys Tyler and David Pratt was first to rise, flicking his header across Laurie Walker into the far corner.
Though Town responded quickly, with a header cleared off the line by Green, but Stones went into the break leading the game.
The Grosvenor Vale side were pressing the home side into mistakes and their game plan was working well, preventing the Tudors from reaching a confident rhythm.
In fact, it was Wilkinson’s men who were putting dangerous crosses into the penalty area, with Danny Green their main asset going forward.
Green released Tyler in behind, whose hard-hit cross was parried out for a throw in.
With an hour gone in the match, Hemel couldn’t get a hold on possession and their opportunities were limited by the well-drilled Wealdstone defence.
The addition of Stevens in the side, playing at right back, provided that solidity.
It was a bad challenge from Shulton on Godfrey Poku that led to some needless fouls and two yellow cards, but from a local derby, it was surprising not to see more.
The Tudors’ urgency wasn’t shown until the last eight minutes of the game.
With the match still sitting tightly at 1-0 to Wealdstone, Hemel had their best chance of the game and North pulled off a superb save down to his left in the 91st minute. Tom Knowles crossed the ball and Sinclair sent it goalbound, but Stones scrambled it clear to snatch three points and get a massive win at Vauxhall Road.