VCD Athletic preview

Wingate and Finchley travel to VCD Athletic on Saturday determined to make amends for their late defeat against Billericay Town last weekend. Teddy Nesbitts 84th minute goal condemned the Blues to only their second defeat in all competitions since the start of November. But Wingates performance in a 3-2 victory against local rivals Cockfosters in the London Senior Cup on Tuesday was a further demonstration of the never-say-die attitude Simon Lanes side has shown throughout the season. And it is this fighting spirit that has carried Wingate to fourth place in the Ryman Premier League, just three points from the top with a game in hand over leaders Dulwich Hamlet. VCD Athletics story is quite the opposite, however. Without a win in their first 19 games of the season, an extremely timely run of form has seen the 2014 Ryman North Division champions secure victory in three of their last four matches, drawing the other. Athletic remain eight points away from safety, but with two games in hand over 20th-placed Hendon the South-East London side will welcome Wingate amidst a resurgence of the exact same belief that saw them narrowly escape relegation last season. Having been in the relegation zone for much of the campaign, wins in all of their last six games saw Athletic finish 18th, two places clear of the drop. And for believers of fate it will come as no surprise that their fourth win in this run came at home to Wingate and Finchley. Though their battles are waged at opposite ends of the table, both sides will be desperate for three points. Because these two teams will only meet again in the league on the second-to-last day of the season and who knows how important Saturday's result could prove then? By Andy Gerlis

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