National League: Wealdstone 3 Concord 0
- Credit: Archant
Table-topping Wealdstone returned to winning ways in National League South against mid-table Concord at the Vale on Saturday.
Goals from Jacob Mendy, Ross Lafayette and Michael Phillips sealed a convincing victory for the Stones after an efficient second-half display.
In light of their recent poor run of results, boss Dean Brennan elected to make a number of changes to the starting line-up and gave debuts to goalkeeper Harry Isted and defender William Edjenguele, along with a first start for the midfield duo of Jack Jebb and Ashley Charles.
A quick counter attack in the third minute resulte din Dennon Lewis registering an early effort from inside the box, after a surging run from Mendy on the right, but Beach Boys' goalkeeper Chris Haigh pulled off a comfortable save.
The Stones went close to taking the lead in the 15th minute as captain Jerome Okimo whipped in a fantastic pinpoint cross to Lafayette, with the striker nodding his effort marginally wide.
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Five minutes before half-time, Wealdstone created their best chance of the half as the ever-dangerous Lewis drilled an inch-perfect cross from the left towards Mendy at the back post, but he was unable to capitalise.
As the half drew to a close, Lewis again worked his magic down the left for the Stones, breaking free to square a brilliant ball to Mendy, but the midfielder failed to test Haigh.
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The deadlock was eventually broken by the Stones in the 50th minute, though, as Jebb - who was having an influential impact on the match - played a delightful through ball to Mendy, who raced clear of the Concord defence and coolly slotted past Haigh.
Three minutes later, the Beach Boys nearly drew level as Kreshnic Krasniqi rose highest at the near post to head towards the top corner, but Isted pulled off a vital save to preserve Wealdstone's advantage.
In the 69th minute, the Stones doubled their lead in superb fashion through top scorer Lafayette who latched onto Billy Clifford's pass and volleyed into the bottom corner.
Concord looked for a quick reply to reduce the deficit, as captain David Olufemi struck from the edge of the box, but Isted responded with a solid save.
On 84 minutes a Connor Stevens' header looked goalbound, but Olufemi recovered well to clear the ball off the line for the visitors, before Phillips rounded off the scoring in injury time in superb style, bursting through from the halfway to skip past the Concord defence and clinically fire home.
Stevens received a second yellow card late in stoppage time, before an important victory for the Stones was confirmed.