After beating Evostik South Premier League side Dunstable Town in the previous round, Darren Freeman’s side now face another side from the same division in the FA Trophy when our old Conference South foes Bishop’s Stortford make the journey to The Dripping Pan. With a £4,000 cheque up for grab for the winners, The Rooks will be looking at progressing to a stage of the tournament they haven’t reached for a number of years.
Having rested a number of players for Wednesday’s 7-0 win over Horsham YMCA in the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup, Darren has a strong squad to choose from and with Jonte Smith’s four-goal haul in that game, competition for places will be fierce. Injury doubts persist over Alex Malins, Harry Reed whilst Wilfried Grimaud limped off towards the end of Wednesday’s game.
How’s this season been for our opponents?
After relegation from the National League South at the end of last season, The Blues have found life in the Evostik South Premier tough going so far, picking up 18 points so far from their 17 league games and sit in 18th place. They’ve won three games (all against sides currently below them on the table) on the road this season, scoring fourteen and conceding twelve along the way. In terms of current form, they’ve lost their last four league games but did convincingly beat Hanwell Town in the previous round 4-0.
Our last meeting
Not a game that Rooks fans will want to remember as our last meeting on Easter Monday, 2011 when the visitors won 2-1 to condemn Lewes to relegation to the Isthmian League Premier Division. The visitors took a 2-0 first-half lead thanks to goals from Dean Rance and Michael Bakare. A late Rory Hill goal wasn’t enough to save the Rooks though. One name that will almost certainly be on the team sheet on Saturday from that game is Rooks keeper Chris Winterton. Interestingly, if The Rooks would have won that game they would have dragged The Blues into a relegation battle themselves.
The Rooks home form this season has been good, winning six out of our ten games in all competitions, scoring 28 goals in the process and conceding just nine.
Kick off on Saturday at The Dripping Pan is 3pm. Admission is £11 for Adults, £6 for Concessions and Under16s (and dogs!) are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
Should Saturday’s game end in a draw, the replay will be at Woodside Park (aka The ProKit UK Stadium), on Tuesday 14th November at 7:45pm (meaning our Bostik League game away at Whyteleafe would be postponed).