Wealdstone start pre-season with a win
PUBLISHED: 14:19 09 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:19 09 July 2017
Wealdstone 1 Fulham U23 0
A solitary goal from young trialist Dylan Kearney was enough to separate Wealdstone and a young Fulham side as the Stones kicked off their pre-season campaign at Grosvenor Vale in very positive style.
Every first-team player bar the unavailable Jonathan North saw action in what was a hot and humid afternoon in Ruislip, watched by a crowd of 445.
The Stones started the game with three at the back and two up top, giving Ryan Sellers and Eddie Oshodi much more of a licence to attack, and it was the latter who had the first opening of the game, cutting inside and spurning a good chance with his weaker foot.
Stones then had two efforts cleared off the line by the Fulham defence as new signing Josh Hill had a shot blocked by Moritz Jenz and from the resulting corner Elliot Benyon had a header cleared by Joe Felix.
Both teams made three changes each at the break but it was the Stones who looked the livelier.
On the hour mark the rest of the Stones bench was introduced into the action, bar keeper Alfie Bonfield, and it was the pace of Abobaker Eisa who beat two defenders before hitting a low cross to Kearney who smashed his effort off the crossbar.
Fulham’s best effort came on 76 minutes when Stephen Humphrys had a low effort well held by Ravan Constable which proved to be his last action as he was soon replaced by under-18 keeper Bonfield.
Kearney and Eisa linked up well again with a quick throw-in from the forward playing in Eisa, but his shot was well saved by Felix Norman with Ricky Wellard smashing over the rebound from 25 yards.
A minute later the young striker had his goal when a mistake in the middle allowed a ball to be played into Kearney on the edge of the area and he was given the freedom of Middlesex to pick his spot and slot past Norman.
Wealdstone: Constable (Bonfield 80), Oshodi (Udoji 60), Sellers (Wellard 46), Okimo (Harwood 60), Hill (Mavila 60), Brown (Hippolyte-Patrick 60), Green (Godfrey 60), Cox (Eisa 60), Benyon (Hibbert 60), Fitchett (Hunt 46), Whichelow (Kearney 46).
Fulham: Norman, Felix, Martin (Mundle-Smith 46), Andrason (York 46), Davies, Jenz, Pearce (Martin 67), Harris, Adebayo (Andrason 67), Humphrys, Elstone (Kelly 46).
*Jerome Okimo has made a dramatic return to Wealdstone, having left the club to forge a professional career at Stevenage with fellow Stone Tom Pett three seasons ago.
The pair joined Borough after a sparkling promotion season with Wealdstone, when they won the Bostick (Isthmian) League Premier Division.
Hugely popular Okimo, 29, spent two seasons at Sky Bet League Two Stevenage and made 48 appearances, before transferring last season to relegated National League side Braintree Town who will now face Stones this campaign.
Okimo, who can play across the defence, will provide experience and strength to bolster Stones back line in a highly physical and increasingly competitive league.