Wealdstone are one of the grand old names of non-league football. Formed in 1899, they were founding members of the Alliance Premier League, the forerunner of the National League, in 1979, and five years later became the first team to achieve the double of the league and the FA Trophy.
Now they’re back in the fifth tier after a 33-year hiatus, during which they’ve suffered a number of traumatic episodes, from ownership issues to thwarted attempts to build a new stadium.
Listen to our scouting report on Wealdstone
They carried some of the momentum of their National League South victory into their first game of the season, gaining a creditable draw at Yeovil Town, and showing spirit in a narrow defeat at Dagenham. However, last Tuesday they crashed to a 5-2 home defeat at the hands of Stockport County.
Be warned though: the scoreline is misleading. Wealdstone led twice, and were ahead with 17 minutes left when Stockport's second half pressure led to a late collapse.
It was a sobering introduction to football at this level for Grosvenor Vale, a ground Wealdstone have gradually developed in the 12 years since they moved in after original tenants Ruislip Manor went out of business. Before last Tuesday they'd won16 of their last 18 games there: can they return to winning ways against Wrexham.
HEAD TO HEAD
We’ve never played Wealdstone before, so we’re venturing into new territory with this fixture.
Reece Hall-Johnson v Dennon Lewis
Anyone who has watched Wrexham this season will have been impressed by the attacking thrusts of Reece Hall-Johnson. Quite apart from his eagerness to have a shot, as shown on the opening day when he scored from the edge of the area, he has good delivery, and provided the assist from Kwame Thomas’ goal at Yeovil.
However, he will come up against an interesting tactical conundrum at Wealdstone. The Royals like to leave one of their wide players up from when they are defending, as well as their striker. This bold approach means they pose a threat on the counter-attack, and in that phase of play they seem to have a similar amount of pace to Wrexham.
Dennon Lewis will be the player in direct opposition to Hall-Johnson, and his willingness to linger upfield and make direct driving runs will pose an interesting tactical conundrum: will Hall-Johnson adopt a more conservative approach to keep an eye on Lewis, or will his forays forwards force Wealdstone to pull Lewis back into defence, and limit their threat on the break.
Expect a game of cat-and-mouse down Wrexham’s right as this duel develops.
12/10/20 Wrexham 0 Maidenhead United 1 (Coley 24)
R Lainton, F Kelleher, J Reckord, J Davies, T Vassell, R Hall-Johnson, L Young, E Durrell (D Jarvis, 86), J Harris (A Yussuf, 63), J Ponticelli, K Thomas (P Rutherford, 63) Subs not used: J Horsfield, C Dibble
LAST 5 GAMES
13/10/20 Wealdstone 2 (Slew 16, Lafayette 48) Stockport County 5 (Rooney 22 (pen), 84, 88, Bennett 77, Maynard 79)
H Isted, J Okimo, M Efete, A Dyer (D Parish, 81), K Benyu (A Charles, 70), C Smith, C Wakefield, M Phillips, R Lafayette (J Cawley, 60), J Mendy, J Slew Subs not used: M Emmanuel, D Green
LAST 5 GAMES
|10/9/20||Dagenham & Redbridge||A||0-1||L|