First Team
National League Thu 11 April Ruislip Manor Sports & Social Club
  • Barrett (58')
  • Kretzschmar (70', 73')
  • Allarakhia (77')
Dorking Wanderers
  • Carter (55')

Wealdstone, who currently occupy the last of the safety spots within the league table, welcome us to the capital on the back of a torrid run of form which has seen them get dragged firmly into the relegation scrap. After picking up just a point from six games, the club announced the termination of first-team manager David Noble’s contract on Sunday.

Just two days after Noble’s departure, The Stones faced Southend United as they begun to make up the games in hand they’ve had upon other teams for quite some time. The Shrimpers came from behind to win 1-2 at Grosvenor Vale, extending their unbeaten run to 14 and leaving Wealdstone in an ominous position ahead of our visit.

In what was newly appointed interim boss Sam Cox’s first match in charge, The Stones took the lead through Manny Duku on the half-hour mark, presenting the struggling side a fantastic opportunity to secure a crucial three points. However Kevin Maher’s men, much to the relief of relegation candidates, fought back to consign Wealdstone to their fifth successive defeat.

An impassioned White stressed the importance of three points ahead of our trip on Thursday evening:

“This is a must-win, end of. I don’t think I’ve ever called a game must-win before, not even the play-off final was must-win, but this is, that’s the bottom line.”

We travel to Ruislip following two largely encouraging draws against play-off contenders in the form of Aldershot Town and Altrincham. Our most recent point came at Meadowbank on Saturday afternoon, where we played out a goalless draw at home for first time since September last year – a stat which illuminates the chaotic 23/24 campaign.

Team News

Jason Prior left the field in the first-half of our draw with Alty, the Wanderers boss wasn’t hopeful of his short team fitness, stating “it doesn’t look good”. Our top scorer will not be involved at Grosvenor Vale.

Barry Fuller could make a return to the squad after a knock forced him out Alty’s visit. Meanwhile Dan Pybus and George Francomb continue to nurse ongoing tendonitis issues. Niall McManus is also said to be a doubt.

Opposition Focus – The Stones

After winning just three games from eighteen in the league, The Stones have plummeted down the table and now sit as strong contenders for the drop. Relegation would end a short and sweet spell in the fifth tier, three years on from their promotion from the NLS, where they were crowned Champions in the curtailed 2019/20 COVID season.

Operating with a 4-3-2-1 for much of this campaign, Wealdstone have looked steady at the back but their expected shape and game-plan on Thursday remains uncertain following the recent change in the dugout.

Sam Cox, the one-time Supporters Club Player of the Year’ and Junior Stones Player of the Year’, boasts coaching experience at Tottenham Hotspur, but has no experience being a first-team head coach. The 33-year-old stated he was “humbled and honoured to step into the role of manager until the end of the season”.

The Stones face a chaotic schedule, with their Tuesday night fixture against Southend commencing their final five games within the space of 13 days. They are also without a win since mid-March, where they overcame AFC Fylde 2-1.

Their top scorer this campaign is Sean Adakara with 10. Tahvon Campbell and Max Kretzchmar also have six apiece, with the former currently unavailable through injury.

On Our Last Visit

Falling at a similar time to this year, our last trip to Grosvenor Vale came on our penultimate fixture of last season. The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in a fixture which held little meaning as either side had secured National League safety, a vast contrary to Thursday night’s situation.

Dominic Hutchinson opened the scoring inside the opening three minutes, ending The Stones’ run of three matches without a goal. Dan Gallagher fired home an equaliser just five minutes later after meeting Prior’s knock-on from a long-range Josh Taylor throw.

Seb Bowerman emphatically put the Wanderers into the lead late in the first-half after meeting Harry Ottaway’s pass, however Charles Clayden would pull the hosts level three minutes into the second half and the two sides went on to settle for a point apiece.

Get behind the boys at Wealdstone by purchasing an away ticket here.