Wingate & Finchley prepare to kick off pre-season campaign
Wingate & Finchley will kick off their pre-season campaign next Saturday (July 5), making a 225-mile journey to North Wales to play Prestatyn Town.
It will be the third time in four years that the two teams have met for a summer friendly, the most recent of which was in 2012 when the Welsh coastal team won 2-0.
The Seasiders most recently finished second from bottom in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League.
The Blues line-up could include their new signings – David Knight, who scored 37 goals in all competitions for Ryman League Division One North side Thurrock FC last season – and young striker Nico Muir. Those attacking acquisitions will join two other new faces, Carl Martin and Tom Collins.
W&F’s following two fixtures are also away, first at Codicote on July 8 before a short trip to Haringey Borough’s Coles Park, where Wingate were held to a 1-1 draw in another friendly last July.
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Haringey narrowly missed out on the Essex Senior League title by one point last season, scoring an impressive 41 league goals in April alone while conceding just four.
The two north London sides could have found themselves in the same division this season, given that Borough were nearly promoted while Wingate were relegated.
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However, Borough’s disappointment and the Blues’ subsequent reprieve means they remain two tiers apart in the non-league pyramid.
St Albans will be welcomed to Wingate’s Harry Abrahams Stadium on July 19, and Daniel Nielsen’s side will then host Redbridge on July 22 and Wealdstone on July 26.
The Blues registered a memorable 5-1 victory over Redbridge in the London Senior Cup in the end of January, and there will be an added edge as Redbridge are W&F’s only pre-season opponents who they will encounter in the Ryman Premier League this season.
Meanwhile, Wealdstone are certain to demonstrate the prowess that helped them achieve promotion to the Conference South division last season.
W&F will go on to entertain Potters Bar on July 29, with the visitors having triumphed 2-1 in their last encounter in the FA Trophy in 2012.
Buckinghamshire outfit Chalfont St Peter will then travel to north London on August 2 to conclude Wingate’s pre-season fixture schedule.