Nov 15 2012 by Paul Bishop , Harrow Observer
WEALDSTONE fans will have to exercise some patience if they want to see the best of new-boy Esmond James according to boss Gordon Bartlett.
The former Hayes and Yeading and Hampton and Richmond Borough midfielder-cum-striker was the surprise name among the substitutes for Saturday’s FA Trophy tie with Corby.
Yet Bartlett revealed the 22-year-old – who was in the Beavers team which beat Stones in last season’s Middlesex Senior Cup Final – has been training at The Vale for a month.
He has been kept under the radar as he battles back from injury.
“We have nursed him back over the last month from one ankle injury, but unfortunately he has now picked up another one which hasn’t helped,” said Bartlett.
“We put him on the bench today because we were a little bit threadbare.
“He is one that can play in forward areas and, at 1-0 down with just over 15 minutes to go, the thought was very much get him on in a wide area and let him have a go at them.
“However, once we scored the only change really was a straight swap up front because we didn’t want to change the shape too much.”
It remains to be seen whether James, who was recommended to Bartlett by former Hayes and Yeading boss Gary Haylock, will be either available or needed for a cameo in Saturday’s league clash at home to struggling Carshalton.
It is a game which will witness a midfield reshuffle with enforcer Chris O’Leary having to serve a one-match ban for clocking up five yellow cards.
It probably means a return to his natural spot in the centre of the park for Kurtney Brooks alongside Alex Dyer with Nathan Webb, who missed the cup tie through suspension coming back into the starting XI on the right.
The Robins will arrive at the Vale in and around the early season relegation zone and having produced some unpredictable results of late.
They overturned pre-season title favourites Lowestoft at Colston Road two weeks ago, only to ship six in a 6-3 defeat on their travels to Concorde Rangers last Saturday.
In a strange quirk of the fixture list, this Saturday’s league clash at the Vale will be followed 72 hours later by a Ryman League Cup clash at Carshalton on Tuesday next week.