Monthly Archives: July 2015

Stones Goals promotional video in time for the new season

More live games. More live goals. Capturing every moment. Welcome to the new season… only on @StonesGoals.

Live coverage from four of the opening six fixtures.
Including: Bath City (a); Concord (h); Margate (a); Sutton (a).

Regrettably, there will be no “live” coverage of Eastbourne (h) or Ebbsfleet (h).

Opening fixtures

Opening fixtures

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Daggers put to the sword

An earlier than usual kick off time of 7.30pm did little to whet the appetite as Wealdstone saw off their “League 2” opponents with relative ease in front of a meagre crowd during an overcast evening in late July.

Wealdstone 3-1 Dagenham: Wednesday 29 July 2015

Of course it’s been a pre-season of rants and moans, when is it never like that? And even this stroll in the park is likely to bring about moans that “it wasn’t Dagenham’s first team…” (add me to the moan queue)

Did Dagenham play an entire team of “kids”?

Let’s dispel the myth a little bit.  Jack Connors who captained their side has turned out 40 times for the first eleven and is a current Republic of Ireland U21 international;  the number 3 was head and shoulders Dagenham’s star man – but the Daggers must view this as a disappointing evening’s work.  Elsewhere they had the famous “Wilson Carvalio” – who? Have a look round YouTube and you’ll see he’s starred in a Nike Academy advert, famed for his nifty footwork… of which we didn’t see.  In fact, the Daggers starting 11 have 78 first team appearances under their belt between them, coming from just four players (O’brien, 10; Connors, 40; Gayle, 10 – he was on loan at St Albans last season; Yusuff, 18).

Team sheet

Team sheet

New shirts released (pre-sponsor logo)

Whilst the Rollin’ Kitchen and the PA man stayed at home… one delivery that did arrive – the 2015/16 replica home and away shirts.  See below.

Let's get shirty: home and away

Let’s get shirty: home and away

The game itself was dominated by the home side and was notable particularly for the return of Connor Calcutt.  The striker, 21, remains popular amongst Stones fans for his contribution during a loan spell last season and his physical presence immediately caused the Daggers back four problems.  Whilst the striker hasn’t yet signed, he must feature as the prime target on Bartlett’s shopping list for a team that, until tonight, has struggled to score goals against “notable” opposition during this year’s pre-season programme.

Stones opened the scoring on eight minutes when Binns free kick was headed back across goal and Hutchinson cleverly outmuscled his opponent in the air to lay the ball into the path of El Godfrey: who smashed home (again).  It was only the second Vale goal this pre-season for the home side.. both from Godfrey and both bangers (though nothing is beating his first).

Dagenham rarely threatened and it was the Stones who nearly doubled the lead when a Bonnet-Johnson long ranger was clawed away by O’Brien in the Daggers goal.

Second half and the keeper is heard roaring the instruction #DontGetBeat to his defender who is absolutely marauded by an on-form (and on-fire) Shaun Lucien who dips inside and out before curling a shot into the far corner… (see the vid: it’s another goody)

Stones had by now made several changes and it was one of them, Matt Ball, who came closest to adding to the scoring but he first saw a free header loop wide, before later hitting the crossbar from another when equally well placed – but not before the third Stones goal.

Hutchinson was the man to make it three, and again Ball was involved; his smart movement out foxed the visitors and his clever cut back was calmly tucked away by Hutchinson.  Calcutt was now saying his goodbyes (for tonight, we hope…) and McGleish came on – he too may have added to the scoring on a couple of occasions but most notably when his looping header dipped off the post after yet more good Lucien work.

Hutchinson came close to adding a fourth as he nodded over the stranded keeper only for the Daggers right back to scramble back and hack the ball off the goal line.

There was still time for the visitors to score a consolation… a shot from the edge that looped into the corner past the outstretched sub keeper Tim Brown on time.

Full time: Stones 3-1 Daggers, highlights below

One El of a strike

Elliott Godfrey pulled a rocket out the sky with a strike of sumptuous quality to light up this friendly against Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe Wanderers at The Vale on Tuesday night. You can’t help but think that with it, Godfrey walked out of the stadium with the goal of the season award safely tucked in his back pocket. 

Elliott Godfrey: take a bow

Elliott Godfrey: take a bow

Wealdstone 1-3 Wycombe:  Tuesday 21 July 2015

Wow. That’s how you strike a ball. I’ll let the highlights do the talking.  Apologies the video shows no third Wycombe goal… technical errors, but hey, let’s be honest – the first goal more than makes up for it.

Watch the highlights:

Watch THAT goal:

Watch the goal in slow mo:

Miller back to haunt tepid Stones

Ricky Miller’s Wealdstone career was short lived. Best remembered as one of the subs tasked with breaking through the Lewes rear guard on THAT day in West Sussex on Bank Holiday weekend back in August 2011 . But the striker was back to haunt the Stones today as his neatly taken first half goal set Dover on their way to a comfortable victory on another warm July’s afternoon.

Wealdstone 0-2 Dover:  Saturday 18 July 2015

Yet again Wealdstone lacked any real threat going forward and were quite often susceptible to long balls and the constant threat of the rangy number 9, Ofori-Acheampong, who was a handful all afternoon.  Johnny Wright squandered the best chance early for the hosts when put clean through on goal but proceeded to shoot tamely at the keeper – incensing those who fear the striker can’t finish.  At the other end the Wealdstone back line always looked vulnerable on the counter attack as the midfield, still devoid of Davies and Ball, were persistently over run.

But it was from a Wealdstone attack that the away side found their opening… a Lucien cross was cut out and a long ball between the Stones centre back pairing Parker and Urquart put Ricky Miller through on goal and the former-Stone made no mistake in dispatching into the corner.

The second half saw much of the same as Dover reinstated their stranglehold on the game. And on 50 mins it was game over as Dover got behind the Stones down the right hand flank and the inch perfect cross was met powerfully by Ofori-Acheampong who’s header rocketed past Tim Brown in the Stones goal.

Dover continued to press and looked likely to add a third, and despite Hutchinson having a goal ruled out for offside, the away side rattled the crossbar following a neat move in the closing stages as they coasted out the game.

Questions will continue to be asked of Wealdstone however, after serving up another toothless and tepid display – despite missing a few key men. Full time 0-2.

 

@StonesGoals makes return in time for Sheringham debut…

It’s now nearly 20 years since England were last an international force.  Stylish attacking football saw our national team steam roll Holland in Euro 96 as the SAS Sheringham Shearer partnership came together with devastating effect.  The pair certainly whetted the appetite of the nation during the last international tournament hosted on British soil.  And how close we came to winning it.  It was one of my earliest footballing memories so I must admit my delight at learning Teddy Sheringham was to be appointed the new Stevenage Town manager a little over a month ago, meaning a date with destiny for his first dugout endeavour was to come at fortress–Vale…

SAS - Sheringham and Shearer at Euro 96

SAS – Sheringham and Shearer at Euro 96

Wealdstone 0-1 Stevenage:  Saturday 11 July 2015

Played out in front of a meagre crowd of 374, one of the most notable absences was the Rolling Kitchen.  The catering “kings”, one of the finest eateries in non-league football, were missing due to prior made arrangements.  A shame.  The game itself was predictably littered with trialists, however the away team started on the front foot controlling the pace and asking some questions of the Stones back line.  For the most part, the Wealdstone defence martialed by Wes Parker coped well with the away side’s threat and on the couple of occasions returning ex-Stone Tom Pett found himself in behind the trialist full back, David Linn, his end ball was disappointing.

Stones muscled their way back into contention and were always a threat going forward, particularly when the impressive Shaun Lucien was on the ball.  It was his neat control, turn and wriggle that sent Day scrambling at full stretch to his left and the Stevenage custodian was tested again minutes later when the same player combined well with Louis to send the keeper back peddling to tip over a deflected shot.

However, despite the Stones growing confidence, the breakthrough came for the away side towards the end of the first half when ex-Tottenham star Dean Parrett roasted Elliot Godfrey in midfield to play through Stevenage striker Brett Williams, who was felled as he attempted to round Jonathan North.  The striker was soon up to stroke home the penalty, sending North the wrong way in the process, for what proved to be the winning strike.

The second half featured numerous substitutions, as games at this time of year often do, and it began to peter out.  It was Wealdstone who came closest to scoring again, first through sub Josh Hutchinson, a recent acquisition from Potters Bar (the next Tom Pett?), who saw his smart lob whistle narrowly over before 40-something Scott McGleish hit a screamer from the edge which the Stevenage sub keeper did well to tip away on the stretch.

Bartlett wasn’t too despondent, the Stones gaffer speaking to Get West London said:  “That’s a great afternoon’s work, a really good test. Considering the heat, and the fact that they put two completely different sides out, energy levels needed to be good and they were.”

Bartlett confirmed the release of the trialist left-back on full time alongside another second half sub. Ruthless? Bartlett didn’t think so… “They are young players who need to play. We can’t do that on the basis of what we’ve seen. It’s better to make an early decision on them rather than leaving them hanging around.”

Full time: 0-1

@StonesGoals man of the match: Lucien

team line ups

team line ups