Tower Hamlets preview

Off the back of taking the bragging rights in what is perceived as the Non league North London Derby against local rivals, Enfield Town, Wingate & Finchley host Tower Hamlets in the opening round of the London Senior Cup. As aforementioned, that victory should have the Blues high on confidence heading into Tuesday evening’s game at the Maurice Rebak Stadium. Results have been somewhat turbulent so far this campaign both at home and on the road, and Keith Rowland will be eager for his players to put together a run of positive results. This stage of the competition last season saw Wingate put Fisher to the sword with a 5-0 display, following suit with a 3-2 win over Cockfosters before falling short at the Quarter-Final stage. That defeat came in a 2-3 reversal against Redbridge, who at the time were rooted to the bottom of their division, so the Summers Lane outfit will be well aware that upsets are very capable. Albeit, it’s hard to read too much into that result considering only five of that squad who featured remain at the club. It’s a different reading for the Essex Senior League opposition, who sit 17th in the ninth tier of English football. They fell at the first hurdle in a 2-5 defeat to Beckenham Town, and won’t want to slip out so early this time round. Oddly enough, the team from Mile End Stadium will be coming into the game off the back of a win against Enfield themselves, a 3-1 win over Enfield 1893 FC, although they’ve just come off a bad run of results. The defeat of Enfield is to date only their first back-to-back victory, ending a streak of seven straight defeats which saw them fall in the second, and first-qualifying rounds respectively in both the FA Cup and FA Vase. Whoever Rowland picks in Wingate’s defensive line will need to be quick on their toes if they’re to stop the threat of danger man, Yusuf Ali, whose pace down the wings could cause a real threat. Although he’s not the only threat they carry – top scorer with seven goals, Rowe O’Neal, will be looking to showcase his ability against Ryman League opponents. Tower Hamlets will be fully aware of Wingate’s many threats, including that of Billy Healey who hit the 30+ bracket last campaign, and the dynamic Tommy Tejan-Sie – a match-winner in his own right. With their Ryman and FA Cup adventures stopped early, the home support will be hoping that’ll serve as motivation for their side wanting to go all the way in this competition. With both teams hungry to do well – and with the already mentioned limited opportunities available at getting their hands on any type of silverware – they’ll surely do everything they can to progress which should bring about a very entertaining evening. By Khalid Karimullah

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