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Canvey Island preview

Wingate & Finchley face an away trip for the second weekend in a row as they travel to Canvey Island FC in the Ryman Premier League. After last weekend’s 2-0 win at Ware in the FA Trophy – and will travel to Slough on 26th November for the third qualifying round game, a win would send the Blues into the first round proper for the first ever time.

However, taking things one game at a time, Saturday’s trip to Canvey Island will present a tough challenge – as the Gulls defeated Wingate twice last season, with The Blues being beaten 2-1 in both games. However, Canvey’s winning goal at Summers Lane will long go down in the memory because the ball seemed to have found the back of the net via Martin Tuohy’s hand – with appeals falling on deaf ears and leading to much disappointment in the Wingate camp.

This season, Danny Heale’s side sit in 20th position after 15 games, winning four, drawing four and losing seven times since the start of the campaign. However, the Gulls still pose a sizable goal threat in George Sykes, Tony Stokes and the aforementioned Tuohy – who have scored 23 goals between them this season. However, the Islanders do sit second from bottom in the form guide, winning one and drawing one of their last six games – conceding a league-high 21 goals in that time whilst only scoring seven.

Comparatively, Wingate sit in 10th position in the form guide - and 13th in the overall table - with three wins and three losses in their last six – scoring nine and also conceding nine. In front of goal, Reece Beckles-Richards (8), Billy Healey (5) and Steve Wales (5) lead the way in terms of goals but it is their defence that has gained many plaudits in recent weeks.

Since the signing of Claudiu Vilcu at centre back, a back six of Shane Gore in goal, Ola Williams, Vilcu, Sean Cronin, Ryan Sellers and holding midfielder, Ahmet Rifat have formed an impressive defensive line – and the Blues will be confident of maintaining this record at the Frost Financial Stadium, a ground where they have only lost by one goal in the last two seasons. By Nikhil Saglani

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