Gloucester City make it three wins on the bounce with a hard fought win away against Wealdstone.
Gloucester City beat Wealdstone FC away in the National league South last night after soaking up early pressure, producing an excellent defensive performance and converting their chances to move up to 15th in the league.
Marc Richards rang the changes as the City fixture list piled up due to winter weather postponements and his gamble to rest some and give other players a chance paid off. Isaac Kelly, in for the injured Kieran Thomas, maintained his place for the second game in a row whilst Richards gave a start to Joe Hanks and Rhys Kavanagh in the middle of the park, with Karnell Chambers given the night off.
From the outset Wealdstone had Gloucester City on the back foot, playing with pace and proving threatening with Ifeanyi Allen working the channels and running at the Tigers defence. Early on, shots were fired at the Gloucester City goal however, James Hamon, who came into some criticism in his early Tigers appearances, pulled off a few excellent saves to keep City well in contention.
As the half progressed, Wealdstone began to run out of ideas and as their football descended into a more kick and rush approach, this is when the Tigers pounced, with Joe Hanks slipping an excellent through ball to Harry Williams who wrong footed both the defender and goal keeper and coolly slotted home on 37 mins.
Gloucester City were now in the ascendancy and went into the break ahead and looking comfortable.
Coming out for the second half City began as they had left off but were forced into an early change as Harry Williams was clattered by a rough challenge, and Marc Richards not taking any chances, brought on Joe Parker on 50 mins.
This did not however put City off their stride and on 59 minutes Joe Hanks got the goal his performance warranted as he received the short corner, turned his marker on the Wealdstone by-line and saw his shot deflected into the back of the net.
As Gloucester had done in the first half, Wealdstone grew into the Second half and were rewarded with what turned out to be a consolation as City failed to deal with a corner as Danny Fitchett took advantage to finish.
The tigers didn’t let their heads drop and remained resolute, managing the game to its conclusion despite a nervy four minutes of added time.
Marc Richards, speaking exclusively to Gloucester City TV, had this to say, “Really tough game tonight, I thought it was one our best performances of the season actually, we’ve been playing some really good football, especially before Christmas and not getting the results but a battling performance from the lads, I thought they put a massive shift in tonight”
“I had to give the some of the boys a rest but also some an opportunity. I thought some of the performances from the boys who haven’t started for a while, Joe Hanks was immense, Rhys worked his socks off, Joey Parker coming on doing really well and Ethan for the last 20 mins. It was really pleasing to see the strength in depth in our squad.”
“I was really pleased to see Harry get off the mark but I think 3 games in such a short space of time maybe just kicked in for him and I think [Harry’s injury] it’s just neurological, I’m hoping it’s not a pull or a strain but we’ll assess it and see where he is for Saturday. I’m just really pleased to get the result and looking forward to the trip home now.”
Victory away at Wealdstone saw Gloucester City put together an unbeaten run of 4 games, claiming 10 points from a possible 12, moving them up to 15th in the table and 8 points clear of the drop zone. They also have two games in hand left to play and go to bottom of the table Whitehawk, who have also recently found a good vein of form, this Saturday at the Terra Pura Stadium in Brighton, Kick off 15:00.