Wealdstone boss Bartlett delighted with Barrow tie

PUBLISHED: 18:24 14 December 2011

L-r: Alex Dyer, 
Richard Jolly, 
Britt Assombalonga and 
Connor Smith 

L-r: Alex Dyer, Richard Jolly, Britt Assombalonga and Connor Smith celebrate

Copyright - © Steve Foster/Wealdstone FC 2011. You do NOT have permission to use this image unless it is properly accredited.

Wealdstone boss Gordon Bartlett was a happy man after his side landed a home FA Trophy tie with Conference club Barrow in Monday’s second round draw.

Barrow, who won the Trophy just two years ago and are currently mid-table in the Conference Premier, will head to Grosvenor Vale next month after the Stones hammered Uxbridge 5-0 to reach the last 32.

The tie could bring the Vale its biggest crowd since Wealdstone hosted Rotherham United in the FA Cup just over two years ago and Bartlett told the Times: “The number one priority was getting a home tie.

“Then it’s a case of whether you want to play a little side or a big side – and we’ve pulled out one of the big ones. They’re an ex-Football League side and they were holders of the Trophy a year ago.

“You’ve got to look at the crowd as well and we need the money in this competition because we blew out of the FA Cup very early. So I’m pleased with this opportunity and hopefully we’ll give a good account of ourselves.”

Bartlett’s side are already guaranteed £5,000 in prize money after defeating Uxbridge to go one stage further than last season, when they took another Conference club, Newport County, to a replay and extra time.

The Stones are currently on a good run of form, with just one defeat from their last 16 games in all competitions, and have scored 15 goals in their six Trophy matches to date.

Leading scorer Richard Jolly has netted eight of those, forming a fruitful partnership in recent weeks with Britt Assombalonga, one of two teenagers currently on loan at the club from Watford.

Assombalonga and attacking midfielder Connor Smith are due to return to Vicarage Road at the beginning of January, but Bartlett is confident that the Stones will be able to extend their loan agreements.

He added: “I had those discussions before they came here. There’s no point in having lads that are going to go straight back, unless they’re going into the Watford first team, and I don’t think that’s likely at this stage.

“The whole idea of having them is geared towards a long-term situation and I’m hopeful they’ll be staying here for a while longer.”

The Barrow game will take place on Saturday January 14, meaning that Stones’ Ryman League derby against Hendon has been postponed.

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