National League South: Wealdstone 4 Weston-super-Mare 1
PUBLISHED: 10:35 05 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:35 05 August 2018
In the blistering heat at The Vale on Saturday, Wealdstone opened the new campaign in fine style with a comprehensive defeat of Weston-super-Mare.
The final scoreline could easily have been far more emphatic as the writing was on the wall for the West Country side after only two minutes when some slick Stones passing through the midfield saw Stevenage loanee Joe White smash the ball past a stranded Luke Purnell.
Stones pressed forward again and White almost doubled his tally three minutes later when his smart effort struck the upright.
Stones were rampant and the Seagulls couldn’t contain their high tempo passing game, soon conceding again. Another superb move from Wealdstone saw striker David Pratt rifle the ball past the beleaguered Purnell.
Weston rallied briefly and Ben Swallow saw a half chance dealt with by the Stones defence.
But from a rare foray into Stones territory Weston pulled a goal back to temporarily peg back the home side.
Some untypically lax defending allowed Eli Phipps to steal in and he got on the end of a free ball from a corner and lashed past Jon North on 21 minutes.
There was no stopping Stones attacking mindset and this set-back did little to disrupt the pattern of play and minutes later Bradley Hudson-Odoi produced a fantastic strike from 30 yards but the ball clipped off the post to safety.
The winger was not to be denied, though, and soon found the net with a neat cut inside and curling strike that bounced in off the far post to restore the home side’s two-goal cushion.
Stones had further chances to increase their lead before the break with the closest being White’s effort that hit the side netting with the Seagulls defence all over the place.
Man of the match Godfrey Puko controlled the midfield superbly all afternoon putting in challenge after challenge and passing accurately to set up attacks.
And the second half saw more of the same with unrelenting Stones pressure forcing Purnell to produce a remarkable save from point blank range from Pratt as the home side continually drove forward to kill the game off.
The Seagulls then had their best spell of possession as Stones understandably eased off but they were unable to break down a stubborn home defence with Jerome Okimo, Connor Stevens and both full-backs outstanding.
Stones finally sealed the opening day victory with a fine, accurate strike from the ever industrious Pratt claiming his double with five minutes left on the clock with White almost grabbing a second before the final whistle.
Stones are soon back in action with a trip to Hungerford Town on Tuesday evening (August 7).
Wealdstone: North, Tyler, Grant, Stevens, Okimo 8, Poku, White, Ahmidi, Pratt, Green (Sheppard 82), Hudson-Odoi.