By Chris Woods
Wealdstone were dominant but made hard work of finding the net in a highly entertaining 2-1 victory over Concord Rangers in the league opener at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday.
The Stones could and should have added three or four more to Elliot Benyon’s 25th minute opener and were pegged back immediately into the second half courtesy of Jordan Cox’s header.
But Dan Fitchett ensured that the home side deservedly claimed all three points on 57 minutes after rolling in man-of-the match Abobaker Eisa’s cross at the second attempt.
Ricky Wellard could have opened the scoring just 10 minutes in after Louis Wells parried Eisa’s shot straight into his path, but the midfielder somehow blasted over with the goal gaping.
Fitchett was then sent through on goal by Sam Cox but dragged his shot wide, before Danny Green saw an effort deflect onto the crossbar. Eddie Oshodi then had a header well stopped by Wells on the line just minutes before Wealdstone made an overdue breakthrough.
Oshodi’s looping cross was deflected and tipped onto the bar by Wells, before Benyon pounced to knock in the rebound.
Stones hit the woodwork again just before half time. Another decent cross from Oshodi saw Jordan Brown nearly volley into his own goal, smashing it off the crossbar.
Jordan Cox rose highest from a corner just a minute into the second half, but the Stones response was instant, scoring the next chance after the dangerous Eisa beat his man and teed up a cross for the lurking Fitchett who netted with his second strike at the ball.
Benyon was next to attempt to score with an empty net but with his back to goal. A long ball caused a defensive mix-up between Wells and Billy Roast, giving Benyon a split second at an open goal but he rolled it agonisingly wide on the turn.
Concord sub Khale Da Costa hit the post late on but the Beachboys failed to create many chances and on another day would have been buried out of sight by half time.
Stones management will be pleased with the chances created, and although the balance of the side is still not quite right, this was the start to the league campaign that was needed and is a solid base to continue to build from as the games now come thick and fast.
Wealdstone: North, Oshodi, Okimo, Green, Hill, Brown, Wellard, Cox, Benyon (Hunt 90), Fitchett (Kearney 77), Eisa (Hippolye-Patrick 87)
Subs not used: Godfrey, Osei-Bonsu
Goals: Benyon (25), Fitchett (57)