Wilkinson challenges Stones board to back him as season ends with defeat in play-offs
PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 May 2019
Stones lost at Woking in play-off semi-finals on Sunday
Bobby Wilkinson has challenged the Wealdstone board to back him to challenge for promotion again next season after their defeat in this term's play-off semi-finals.
Stones lost 3-2 away to runners-up Woking on Sunday, despite holding a two-goal lead at half-time.
That saw the Grosvenor Vale outfit's campaign come to an end, though they can be proud of their efforts after placing seventh in the table above the likes of Billericay Town and Dartford.
Boss Wilkinson has already turned his attention to next season, but wants backing from the Wealdstone board in order to build on this term's success.
The Stones manager told The National League website: “The board need to take over and keep this group together.
“I've got a year left on my contract, but they're going to have to match my ambitions.
“I'm a serial winner and hopefully we can keep this group together and keep fighting for another year.
“If you don't win it one year, you want to win it the following year and I don't want us to be one-season wonders.”
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As for that defeat to Woking, Wealdstone took the lead in the third minute through Freddie Grant.
Stones then doubled their advantage 16 minutes later courtesy of Connor Stevens' goal to hold a two-goal advantage at the break.
The Grosvenor Vale outfit then saw their lead cut in half in the 78th minute when Moussa Diarra netted for the Cards.
And with just four minutes remaining, Wealdstone conceded a second with Max Kretzschmar levelling the scores.
The match then seemed to be heading for an additional 30 minutes, before Stones were crushed by Jake Hyde's stoppage-time winner for Woking.
It was a cruel end to the campaign for the Grosvenor Vale club, but Wilkinson still expressed pride regarding his players.
“I'm a proud manager and what's happened has happened, but the way my players fought all things considered means I'm still a very proud manager,” he added.
“I'm devastated for every single one of them in the changing room.
“I thought we were well in the game at 2-0 and we were holding on, but I knew their siege was coming.
“They've got a lot of tall players and are quite a long-ball side, but fair play to them because they won the game and deserve all the credit.
“They're a very good side, but we showed who we are and gave them a really good game.”
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