Blues eye another FA Trophy scalp at Hemel Hempstead
PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 January 2019
Glen Little will hope to shock a club from the National League South again
Wingate & Finchley visit Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday looking to make more history in this season’s FA Trophy.
The Blues reached the second round for the first time with a 2-0 win over Dulwich Hamlet back on December 15, but don’t want this remarkable journey to end.
National League South outfit Hemel Hempstead will be a tough cookie to crack, but Glen Little’s men have already seen off plenty of higher-level opposition.
Wingate have shocked Hamlet and Chippenham Town, who both ply their trade in the same league as the Tudors, so another upset could be on the cards on Saturday.
Hemel are 15th in the National League South with nine wins out of 24 games, but like the Blues they have had to handle a change of management this season.
Dean Brennan bid farewell to Vauxhall Road in September and Joe Deeney has taken over, and has ex-Wingate man Scott Shulton in his squad.
While the Blues have had a lot of success in the FA Trophy this term, they have struggled in the Bostik Premier.
The Maurice Rebak Stadium club actually dropped into the bottom three last weekend after the 3-0 loss at Merstham.
First-half goals by Kershaney Samuels and Walter Figueira put the Moatsiders in control and late on they added a third via the penalty spot through Roman Michael-Percil.
Wingate are 20th in the table now with 24 points from 23 games, but can forget about the league for at least a week with a short trip to Hertfordshire coming up.
The winner of Saturday’s tie will pocket £7,000 in prize money and it could be vital for the Blues battle to avoid finishing in the relegation zone.
Blues manager Little discussed the club’s bid to survive recently, he said: “It has been tough and especially with everything going on for two months.
“We were up and down, mixing and matching and losing players and trying to get some in. We had injuries and suspensions as well.
“From one game to the next we couldn’t get things settled. It is a totally different team (compared to October), but we still have a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season.”
After Saturday’s FA Trophy tie at Hemel, Wingate will return home on Tuesday to face Brentford B in the quarter-finals of the London Senior Cup.