Parker keen to recreate Wealdstone ‘fortress’

Wealdstone defender Wes Parker says the team must recreate the “fortress” mentality of their Ryman League days to mount another promotion challenge.

The Stones’ chances of a National League South play-off spot have been all but wiped out by their patchy home form, with 10 of their 15 league victories coming on the road.

Dropping points at their Grosvenor Vale base has been a familiar issue for the Stones ever since Parker captained them to the Ryman League title and promotion in 2014.

The experienced centre-back told West London Sport: “Maybe there’s a bit of expectation at home but you can’t fault the fans, they’re great. They’ll follow us no matter where we go and how we’re doing.

“But if we can make this a fortress again, like it was when we were in the Ryman Premier, then we’ll stand a massive chance of getting out of this division. You can’t just rely on your away form to pick up wins.

“When we went down to 10 men [in Monday’s 1-1 draw against Concord Rangers] that seemed to galvanise the fans. That was what got us out of the Ryman Premier, the attitude was all for one and one for all and that’s what we need to create again.

“We keep improving – however, if we seriously want to move on to the next level, we’ve got to be up there from the start of the season. We want people chasing us rather than us chasing them.”

Wealdstone came from behind to draw with struggling Concord, with substitute Matt Whichelow netting their 25-yard equaliser after a controversial red card for Aryan Tajbakhsh.

The result extended Stones’ unbeaten league run to 10 games but, despite being eighth in the table, they are nine points off the play-off places with just seven fixtures remaining.

Parker added: “We did have chances at the end to nick it but, going down to 10 men, we’ve got to be happy with a point.

“The unbeaten run keeps going and it keeps the momentum there, but we are playing catch-up and we need wins. Mathematically if it’s possible you’ve always got a chance.

“We know it’s going to be a big ask but – even if it’s a cliché – every game we play is a cup final and we need to pick up three points. The next game’s huge and so is the one after that.”

Wealdstone travel to Bath City – something of a bogey side for them in recent years – on Saturday.