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Ex-Burnley winger Little set for first ‘official’ game in the Blues hotseat

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 November 2018

New Wingate & Finchley manager Glen Little on the touchline (pic: Martin Addison).

New Wingate & Finchley manager Glen Little on the touchline (pic: Martin Addison).

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The Blues visit Potters Bar in the Bostik Premier on Saturday while the under-18s are in FA Youth Cup action tonight

Wingate & Finchley visit Potters Bar Town in the Bostik Premier this weekend looking to produce some fireworks in Glen Little’s first official match in charge.

It has been an up-and-down week for the Maurice Rebak Stadium club with last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Sittingbourne earning them a crucial £3,250 in prize money.

The Blues progressed into the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy as a result, but on Monday the north Londoners revealed Nicky Shorey had left his role as first-team manager.

Shorey had only taken over at the beginning of October, but “unforeseen other commitments” meant he had to cut short his time at Summers Lane.

During the club’s efforts to find a solution with the ex-England international, Little took charge of the team for the 6-1 win over Cockfosters in the London Senior Cup and the success on the road at Sittingbourne last time out.

Therefore, Little stepping up from assistant to manager should not have a huge effect on the side and the hope will be he can keep the momentum the Blues have.

Since Keith Rowland’s shock exit on October 3, Wingate have played six, won four, lost once and drawn the other, before losing on penalties in the Middlesex Charity Cup.

It is an impressive record and the latest triumph occurred at the weekend in difficult conditions at high-flying Bostik League South East outfit Sittingbourne.

The Brickies, despite being in a division below Wingate, were well up for the tie, but a 74th-minute strike by Reece Beckles-Richards settled the contest in Kent.

He actually opened the scoring after seven minutes when Rob Laney and Brandon McKenna combined to find Beckles-Richards in space and he curled into the corner.

Sittingbourne responded in the 57th minute, however, through Dan Parkinson after Nathan Elder had been denied by Blues goalkeeper Shane Gore.

Beckles-Richards ensured it was Wingate who booked their spot in the second qualifying round, though, when he smashed into the top corner of the net.

The Blues reward is a long trip to Tiverton Town, who ply their trade in the Evo-Stik South Premier South, on November 10, but first Little’s men visit Potters Bar this weekend.

Wingate’s under-18s will look to keep up their fine form in the FA Youth Cup this evening (Thursday) when they host Kings Langley in the first round proper.

The young Blues have impressed in the tournament so far and scored 11 goals in four ties and only conceded three times.

Next up for them is tonight’s match with Kings Langley, who thrashed Tring Athletic 9-1 last week to reach this stage.

The winner of the first round contest will book themselves a home tie with Phoenix Sports or Andover Town in the next phase of the competition.

Although Kings Langley put on a show last time out, Wingate will be confident heading into the clash at Summers Lane.

In the preliminary round on September 3, Blues saw off local rivals Haringey 2-1 and backed this up with a 2-0 win at home to Uxbridge on September 4.

Hayes & Yeading were put to the sword on October 4 in the second qualifying round before Wingate won 2-1 at Ascot United on October 16.

It means spirits are high in the Blues camp ahead of the tie.

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