Stevens stops Crusaders unbeaten streak
By Ciaran Morrison
A 16th minute Conor Stevens header was enough for Wealdstone to edge out Hungerford Town.
Stevens scored the only goal in a tight affair at Grosvenor Vale as a battling Crusaders side lacked composure and ruthlessness in the final third. The hosts made a positive start with two chances for David Pratt inside the first six minutes. Firstly he glanced a header wide from a corner before a short corner worked well was dinked into the box from Ramami Medford- Smith onto the head of the striker, unmarked, but he headed straight at Michael Luyambula. Despite the early pressure Hungerford had the best chance shortly after. Cameron Hargreaves set up the attack with a driving run playing in Rhys Kavanagh who shot straight at North. However the goalkeeper spilled the ball and Foxley put the rebound onto the bar with the ball rebounding out to Tommy Anderson who also had a deflected strike hit the bar. Pratt was again at the heart of the Stones attack with his shot across goal falling nicely to Tarryn Allarakhia but Luyambula saved on the line from his close range attempt. Wealdstone were then to get their goal through a deep corner aimed at centre back Stevens who rose highest and headed in off the crossbar. Daniel Green's fierce strike tested Luyambuala as they searched for the second goal. Jeffery Monakana was a constant nuisance to Matt Jones and James Rusby down the wing and he twisted and turned the latter before Luyambula was again their to deny a second home goal. His wing play also set up a half chance for Green but the Hungerford goalkeeper was in close attendance to smother the shot. The visitors ended the half the stronger with Jonathan North being called into action from Andersons long range effort. From the resulting corner Alfy Whittingham glanced wide at the near post.
After the interval the Crusaders carried on their momentum with Kavanagh holding the ball up well playing in A.Whittingham for a good chance but his tame effort across goal was easy for North. Stevens could have had his second but his header went over the bar. Simon Mensah showed his midfield strength and power when he drived into the box and forced a low save from the opposition goalkeeper. Pratt pulled his effort wide late on to seal the points. However at 1-0 the Crusaders had a chance of nicking a point and Hargreaves couldn't test North from outside the penalty area following good work to win the ball back from the half way line. Darren Foxley did test North with a great low save from a powerful free kick. Despite those two late chances the visitors failed to apply continued pressure on the Stones backline as they easily held out for the three points.