Leatherhead preview

Wingate & Finchley travel to Surrey to play a struggling Leatherhead side at Fetcham Grove for a Saturday afternoon kick-off. The Blues will be hoping there won't be any repeat of last season, after falling short of taking maximum points in both fixtures against Richard Brady's team. The away fixture saw a similar Wingate side, if not in names, but confidence, face Leatherhead who had failed to secure any wins in their previous six matches until they won 2-0, with both goals coming from Carl Rook, a player no longer in their ranks. At the end of the home fixture, captain Marc Weatherstone was in defiant mood, as he felt it was points dropped rather than a point gained as the spectacle finished 0-0. However, in both games, despite the results, it was Wingate who were the more threatening going forward. The Tanners sit 13th in the table, and although they find the back of the net more often than not, having netted 16 goals in the league after nine games, they also have conceded an equal amount. In their four home fixtures this season, results have been indifferent as they've won twice, drawn once and lost the other. Their form coming into this game isn't what Leatherhead would have been hoping for, as they've lost three and drawn twice in all competitions since their last win at home on August 26th against Dulwich. Wingate will be well aware of the threat that Kiernan Hughes-Mason, with three goals and one assist already this season, poses, after the forward came inches from scoring against Bobby Smith last season, and was the visitors biggest threat. Also in their ranks is forward Phil Walsh, who has five assists and three goals. With both star players in form this season, the Blue's defence will have to be guarded. In Leatherhead's last home game, a 2-0 loss against Merstham, it was the visitors rhythmical passing style which saw Brady's men struggle to get any real grip on the game, which is something that Simon Lane will be attentive of as his team like to play with that same fluidity. Since Wingate's single loss of the season so far coming against Tonbridge Angels, they've since gone on to score a phenomenal 10 goals in two games, continuing their blistering start to the season, with a 6-0 home win against Needham Market, and a 4-0 away win at Long Buckby AFC in the FA Cup. Wingate have been unbeaten on the road with three wins in the league from as many games, and four in all competitions. The resilience from their defence has seen them concede only 6 goals, which has given them a foundation to build on and a licence to accumulate 18 goals in the league alone. The intricate style of football has seen players such as Kyle Watson, Karl Oliyide and Billy Healey flourish, which Leatherhead will be conscious of. Unlike the Blues, Leatherhead could only draw 1-1 against lower league opposition, after South Park remained difficult to beat in their FA Cup tie, meaning the Tanners will face a replay at home for the reverse fixture - though this was called off this week. The extra rest could prove vital for the high flying North London side. Match Preview by Khalid Karimullah

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