FA Cup: Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson expecting tough tie at Burgess Hill Town

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic freddiepatmore.com)

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic freddiepatmore.com) - Credit: Archant

Stones visit Hillians of Bostik Premier in third qualifying round on Saturday

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson believes his team face a tough task when they visit Burgess Hill Town in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup this weekend.

After beating Faversham Town in the previous round, Stones make the trip to the Hillians of the Bostik Premier, with the clubs currently separated by 24 places in the English football pyramid.

Being from the higher league, Wilkinson’s men head into the weekend’s game as the favourites, but the Wealdstone boss is expecting a close encounter.

“I’ll be going full strength with my team selection. There’s no hiding now, we’ll be training hard in the week,” he told the club website.

“We’ve started preparations for it and I had them watched at the weekend. It will be another tough away journey, but we have to be mentally tougher for it.

“First things first, can we bring them home? We’re going there to win, but we know how tough it’s going to be.”

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Wealdstone are set to be without centre-back Matty Day for the cup tie after he pulled his calf in Saturday’s goalless draw at Bath City in the National League South.

It is likely the defender will miss the trip to Burgess Hill and Wilkinson hopes to have him back sooner rather than later, but praised Day for playing on through the pain at Twerton Park.

“Matty should have come off at half time at Bath, he’d pulled his calf so he played on through that,” he added.

“He’d suffered a similar injury under me at Hungerford Town and couldn’t carry on, but we needed him to at Bath because I didn’t have another centre back on the bench.

“It’s going to be very important we get him back quickly, he’ll have treatment in the week and he’s a big player for me.”

With Day set for a stint on the sidelines, Wilkinson has moved quickly to sign experienced defender Glenn Wilson from Grays Athletic of the Bostik North.

The 31-year-old will be ineligible for the weekend’s FA Cup tie, though, having played for Grays in an earlier round, but could make his debut at home to Whitehawk on October 7.