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Merstham preview

Wingate & Finchley host Merstham at the Maurice Rebak Stadium in what should be an end-to-end contest. The Blues will be eager to bounce back from their weekend defeat at the hands of Bognor Regis Town, and likewise The Moatsiders will themselves be eager to get back to winning ways following a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Oxford United in the first round of the FA Cup.

Keith Rowland’s outfit should be boosted by winning their last three home games in all competitions. However wins against Tower Hamlets, Tonbridge Angels and Grays Athletic have come in between defeats to Billericay Town, and as aforementioned, The Rocks – so they will be looking to get some consistency going.

In 15th place and games in hand over other teams, the eagerness to pick up a fourth straight home victory will be prevalent around the ground on Tuesday evening. With six wins from 14, the Blues’ fans have seen their side score 18, but ship 22 at the other end – and will be hopeful of their side shoring up and breaking into the top half of the table.

The visitors sit in 19th place with 17 points on the board, having played just one game less than the team from Summers Lane. Hayden Bird will be hoping that’ll serve as even more motivation for his team, knowing that a win will draw them level on points with the hosts. They’ll also want rid of an unwanted record which has seen them lose and draw more than they’ve won, having tasted victory in the league only four times from 14 games. They carry threat in front of goal nevertheless scoring 27 times, but find it difficult to not concede having picked the ball out of their own net on 21 occasions.

There’ll be a familiar face in the oppositions ranks, ex-Blue Alex Addai, whose pace could create an interesting match-up with Ryan Sellers, who himself will look to give Wingate an attacking option down the left. The ex-Wycombe full-back has been in impressive form as of late and will be hoping he can carry on producing the goods to help his side come away with the three points.

The last time they met at the then named Harry Abrahams Stadium, Merstham took away all three points in a 3-1 reverse, however it was Wingate who took the points at Moatside in a 2-0 win. With little to separate between both, it will be intriguing to see how the game plays out, as they bid to take all the spoils. By Khalid Karimullah

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