FA Trophy: Wingate & Finchley looking to shock Wealdstone in first round

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Wingate & Finchley manager Keith Rowland (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Blues visit Stones this weekend as they bid to reach second round

Wingate & Finchley will bid to cause a shock in the FA Trophy first round on Saturday when they make the short trip to Wealdstone.

While the Blues have been going well in the Bostik Premier this term, they visit a Stones outfit chasing promotion from the National League South.

Despite being a division apart, only 20 places split the teams in the English football pyramid, giving the Maurice Rebak Stadium outfit hope of an upset.

Keith Rowland’s men will have had a whole week to prepare for the tie, after their league game at home to Tooting & Mitcham United on Tuesday was postponed because of the cold weather.

Wingate had hoped to use that fixture to build on a 4-2 win at struggling Thurrock on Saturday.

The Blues took an early lead at Ship Lane, with Marc Charles-Smith scoring in the fifth minute.

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Afolabi Obafemi then doubled the lead for the visitors when finding the net in the 25th minute.

However, Thurrock pulled one back three minutes later when Charlie Stimson hit the target.

Seven minutes before the interval, though, Rowlands’ men restored their two-goal lead when Rob Laney scored.

Obafemi then nabbed his second of the match in the 53rd minute to all but secure the points for the visitors.

Thurrock did score again through Curtis Ujah in the 67th minute, but it proved to be only a consolation goal as the Blues held on to win.

The success at Ship Lane means Wingate head into their FA Trophy game ninth in the table.

However, focus now switches to the tie with Wealdstone, with the sides meeting in the first round for the second season in succession.

Last term, the initial tie between the sides at Grosvenor Vale ended in a 2-2 draw, before Wingate lost 2-1 in the replay after extra time.

The Blues will hope they can gain an element of revenge this year, while taking home £6,000 in prize money in the process.

And any victory will surely be a boost to Rowlands’ men ahead of what will be a busy festive period of league matches.