Beckles-Richards: Blues braced for tricky league start at Worthing

Arinse Uade of Harrow Borough and Reece Beckles-Richards of Wingate & Finchley battle for the ball (

Arinse Uade of Harrow Borough and Reece Beckles-Richards of Wingate & Finchley battle for the ball (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Keith Rowland’s team start the new campaign at Worthing on Saturday before hosting Hornchurch on Tuesday

Wingate & Finchley winger Reece Beckles-Richards is expecting a tough opening test in the Bostik Premier this weekend at Worthing.

The two clubs enjoyed some tight contests last season and both claimed three points in their home fixtures.

Keith Rowland’s team won 1-0 against Worthing at the Maurice Rebak Stadium on September 23 following Rob Laney’s goal.

At the start of this year, the Rebels gained revenge with a 2-1 victory by the seaside on January 27 and another even game is expected on Saturday.

“It will be a tough fixture. They are a good footballing side and when we went there last season it was difficult,” said Beckles-Richards.

“We probably should have won, but we lost and look they are a good side, so it won’t be easy on Saturday.”

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After starting with a clash at Worthing, Wingate return to Summers Lane next week, on Tuesday (August 14), to take on Hornchurch.

The Urchins are new boys to the division after winning the Bostik North title last season, but have been at this level before.

Incidentally, the last time Hornchurch were a step three club Beckles-Richards was on loan to them from Woking in the 2014/15 season.

They are still managed by his then boss Jimmy McFarlane and there are a few familiar faces in the Hornchurch squad, so the ex-loanee is looking forward to facing them on Tuesday.

Beckles-Richards said: “It is my old team, they are a good side and it is at home, so I can’t wait for that one.”

Wingate will hope to start this campaign positively after a slow opening last season.

Rowland’s men lost away to Merstham on the first day of the term and then suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Harrow Borough a few days later.

The Blues went on to finish above both Merstham and Harrow, but the six points they failed to pick up could have seen them more involved in a play-off push after missing out by only 10 points.

“We didn’t have the greatest of starts last season. I think we lost the first two,” added 23-year-old Beckles-Richards.

“Obviously we then picked it up later on, but hopefully we can change that this time around and start the new campaign strongly.”