National League: Wealdstone 1 St Albans City 0
PUBLISHED: 09:37 29 December 2019
Wealdstone secured their ninth win from 10 home games this season after a professional victory against St Albans City in the National League South on Saturday.
Dennon Lewis scored the only goal in an encounter largely dominated by the leaders as they picked up their 27th home point from a possible 30 this season.
Stones manager Dean Brennan reacted to the Boxing Day defeat with three changes from the side that lost 2-1 at Slough Town.
Striker Adam Coombes made his full debut in place of Ross Lafayette, while Danny Green and Jack Jebb replaced Jerome Okimo and Billy Clifford and winger Jacob Mendy slotted in at left-back.
The opening passages of play were dominated by the home side, as full-back Michee Efete and winger Lewis had chances early on which were not capitalised upon.
Welling United loanee Coombes won a loose ball near the halfway line and threaded in Lewis down the left, with the winger's cross fizzing wide.
Lewis was causing all sorts of problems for Saints down the left in the opening half-an-hour, crossing at pace into the box on multiple occasions.
A golden chance fell for the Stones 12 minutes before half-time, with Mendy and Lewis linking up before Green cannoned an effort off the bar.
Wealdstone's persistence paid off on the stroke of half-time, as Jebb slipped Lewis in behind and composed himself before a low strike past Dean Snedker.
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But although a strong first-half performance from the leaders was capped off with a well-deserved opening goal for Lewis, the second half did not provide the same intensity from the Stones.
Green looked to double the lead 10 minutes into the second period with a curling effort which flew off target.
The Stones did not struggle to create chances, with Lewis again at the heart of the attack as the winger crossed low to Green, who could only fire over.
Wealdstone had the ball in the net when Mendy's strike was saved by Snedker, Coombes shot against a post and Green converted, but it was ruled offside.
St Albans, unbeaten in five, looked to get on level terms with David Noble and former Stone Jefferson Louis coming off the bench for Ian Allinson's side.
Noble took multiple free-kicks for the Saints as they searched for an equaliser, while Louis linked well with Joe Iaciofano, however, Connor Stevens was equal to every attempt.
Snedker was on hand to deny Mendy on the counter-attack as the game entered a tense final 10 minutes, with important points at either side of the table at stake for both teams.
Saints captain Tom Bender hit a sweet strike destined for goal before an heroic block by substitute Connor Smith, back in the squad after missing out on Boxing Day.
Six minutes of stoppage time were added, with the Stones holding out for a huge three points before Oli Sprague's strike deep in injury time was stopped by Harry Isted.
Isted's late save confirmed a fourth clean sheet in five games as the Stones sit five points clear at the top of the National League South at the end of 2019.