Dec 31 2010 By Jon Batham
LEE Chappell looks ready to lead Wealdstone in a second half of the season play-off push.
That is the view of Gordon Bartlett, who hailed his skipper’s return to form in recent weeks, ahead of the New Year’s Day visit of high-flying AFC Hornchurch.
The Stones’ skipper picked up plenty of flak from his boss during the early weeks of the season when the Grosvenor Vale side struggled for any form of consistency.
However, according to Bartlett, the 24-year-old left-back is now reproducing the form that earned him admiring glances from bigger clubs in last season’s FA Cup run.
He said: "I criticised Lee Chappell at the start of the season and said he wasn’t playing as well as he is capable, but this last month we’ve seen him back to his best.
"He is leading by example with great energy levels and is marauding down the wing.
"That’s the Lee Chappell we know and if he can stay at that level there are going to be people interested again."
Bartlett knows Chappell and company have little wriggle room if they are to achieve their pre-season play-off dream.
Eight defeats already in the campaign mean they are seven points adrift of Saturday’s Essex visitors, who currently occupy the last spot for the end of season promotion lottery.
He added: "We have made the task we set out to achieve much more difficult in a league which overall is stronger than last year.