Concord Rangers travelled to old foes Wealdstone this past Monday night looking to make it two wins from two games in the 2015-16 Vanarama National League South.
With right back James Hammond returning to the ground where he spent the last 4 years, Concord Rangers were given a slightly better welcome by the home crowd than the usual “warm” reception reserved for the Beachboys at the Vale.
The home side opened the game brightly, creating chances and even rattling the underside of Conor Goughs crossbar with a powerful header. Concord were not there for the taking though, as although playing uphill in the first half they found it easy to get forward and break down the Stones back four, leading some to question why they’d allowed Hammond to leave in the first place.
Ben Greenhalgh, Tony Stokes and Steve Cawley were at the heart of the repeated Concord bursts forward, and it wasn’t too long before this determination eventually paid off. Stokes was brought down by a Wealdstone player, but as he was he managed to offload the ball to Cawley, who then found Greenhalgh on the left. The ball was then whipped in to the box where the oncoming Max Cornhill was there to power home a header from a couple of yards out.
Whilst the Beachboys continued to create chances of their own, Wealdstone got right back into the game and tried to test Gough in the Concord goal. The game became more open, and an equaliser arrived almost immediately after Concord had squandered a chance themselves. A cross into the Wealdstone box was easily dealt with, before Lucien set off on a mazy run into the Concord half, the ball was put through to Godfrey, who calmly slid the ball past Goughy just before half time.
The previously mentioned James Hammond had enjoyed a positive first half against his former club, but suffered a hamstring injury before halftime which led to him being subbed. Whilst he was applauded by most, a section of the home “support” could be heard giving their former loyal servant a hard time as he came off, which was a shame to see/hear.
The second half picked up quickly, as Concord went right on the attack, earning a corner very early on. After the initial cross came back to him, Ben Greenhalgh put in what looked to be a cross that then missed everyone and landed in the back of the net.
In between unsuccessful Concord chances, Wealdstone enjoyed the majority of the possession and attempted to gain parity throughout the remainder of the second half. However they were unable to do so down to a combination of resolute and powerful defending from Concord, and a number of misplaced balls from the home side. The full time whilst blew, and the small but passionate travelling faithful ensured their victorious voices were heard around the Vale once more.