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Stones enjoy home comforts for Rotherham tie

PUBLISHED: 16:59 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:45 24 August 2010

By Ben Kosky and Daniel Maguire WEALDSTONE have been given the go-ahead to stage their plum FA Cup clash with Rotherham United on home turf at Grosvenor Vale. Stones officials met with police representatives and safety advisers on Tuesday and were granted

By Ben Kosky and Daniel Maguire

WEALDSTONE have been given the go-ahead to stage their plum FA Cup clash with Rotherham United on home turf at Grosvenor Vale.

Stones officials met with police representatives and safety advisers on Tuesday and were granted permission to host the League Two side at the Vale on Sunday November 8 (kick-off 3pm).

The tie will be Wealdstone's first competitive meeting with a Football League side since they lost a first round replay to Swansea City 23 years ago.

Manager Gordon Bartlett told the Times: "I'm delighted to be playing them at home and we've got to make the most of that. If you take home advantage away it makes the task even more difficult.

"I think you get one opportunity against league clubs. When I was at Yeading we played Colchester and Gillingham - both times we drew, battled hard and lost the replay.

"It's so nerve-wracking when the draw's being made - you hear number 70 and you jump, even when you know you're 72! What I wanted most of all was a home draw and a league side and we've got that.

"Within five minutes I'd arranged some reports and DVDs of Rotherham's games and we'll send somebody up to have a look at them this Saturday."

Bartlett's immediate concern, though, is the Stones' FA Trophy trip to neighbours Harrow Borough this weekend - a fixture that could signify a good omen for their FA Cup prospects.

Wealdstone met Borough - and lost - in the Trophy 32 years ago, but also knocked Hereford United and Reading out of the FA Cup to reach the third round of the competition for the first and only time in their history.

"The next job is trying to beat our local rivals in a competition where we could go a bit further and our fans certainly won't be happy if we don't give that our all," added the Stones boss. "After that we can keep our focus on Rotherham."

The Millers, who recently reappointed Ronnie Moore as their manager, are fifth in League Two but have a poor recent FA Cup record.

They have lost in the first round in each of the last four years, including a replay defeat by non-league Forest Green Rovers in 2007.

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