Apr 16 2012 By Jon Batham
GORDON Bartlett hailed the character of his Wealdstone side after they quashed AFC Hornchurch’s title hopes and kept their playoff dreams alive into the bargain on Saturday.
Bartlett’s men withstood a battering in the last 30 minutes to beat the Urchins 2-1 with the aid of a Scott Fitzgerald header and Tom Pett wonder goal to stay in the battle for a top five spot.
However, it was two unsung heroes who were singled out as epitomising the never-say-die spirit which carried Stones to victory.
Bartlett revealed two of his men had played through the pain barrier in a bid to keep other fresh for four more ‘cup finals’ to follow between now and the end of the regular season.
He said: “Today reminded me of some of our trophy games where we dug deep and the work-rate from front to back was outstanding.
“Wes Parker who was playing with this throat problem said he was struggling to breathe just before half-time and yet he played the second 45 minutes – what does that say about the character of this side.
“Then you have Alex Dyer, who was going to be out for the rest of the season.
“He has gone in now for treatment and I know damn well that foot is painful , but he wants to be out there, which in turn gave us a chance to rest Brooksy (Kurtney Brooks) who I think has done very well recently.”
Bartlett knows more of that same character will be needed tomorrow night (Tuesday) when Stones travel to Imperial Fields to play already relegated Tooting on not the best of pitches for his side’s passing style of football.
He added: “Tooting is going to be difficult because their pitch is a dustbowl and hasn’t got a lot of grass on it and things like that, so we are certainly going to have to overcome that hurdle for a start.
“Can we extend the season? I don’t know but at least we are still interested on Tuesday now because had we lost today it was over.”