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Wilkins hopes Wealdstone do no wilt under play-off pressure

PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 April 2019

Wealdstone boss Bobby Wilkinson (pic Dan Finill/DFinill Photography)

Wealdstone boss Bobby Wilkinson (pic Dan Finill/DFinill Photography)

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Stones dropped out of the top seven with a 2-1 defeat at Hampton & Richmond Borough last weekend

Bobby Wilkinson hopes Wealdstone do not wilt under the pressure of the battle for the play-offs when they host Dulwich Hamlet in the Vanarama National League on Saturday.

Stones return home this weekend after dropping out of the play-off places with a 2-1 defeat at Hampton & Richmond Borough last time out.

With just three games to go, the battle to make the top seven remains hugely congested.

The Grosvenor Vale outfit are by no means out of the race to make the play-offs, but boss Wilkinson is aware his team will likely need a win over Dulwich to remain in the hunt.

He told the club website: “We were only a point inside the play-offs at the start of last weekend, so it was always going to go down to the wire and nothing has changed.

“It just means now that we have to win our home game on Saturday and there is more pressure on us to do that.

“You have to enjoy playing under pressure because it is a great achievement to have that pressure on you.”

As for that defeat to Hampton, Wealdstone fell behind in the 24th minute when Ruel Sotiriou netted for the hosts.

Stones then let in a second in the 54th minute with Sotiriou, on loan from National League leaders Leyton Orient, again on target.

Wilkinson's men pulled one back in the 65th minute courtesy of a Christian Smith penalty, but it was not enough for the visitors to take something from the game.

“The boys were devastated because it was a chance to really settle in to a place where we would like to be in the table,” added Wilkinson.

“It was a little lacklustre and there wasn't enough energy, which isn't how I like to play.

“When you're in a big promotion push, you have to play like the coaching staff tells you to play.

“I was angry with how Hampton scored their first goal because people were thinking about getting a goal for us.

“We were playing well for the first 25 minutes, but what is playing well? We kept the ball better than they did, but we didn't create any chances.”

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