Echo non-league Saturday match previews

First published in Sport by

IT WILL be a homecoming of sorts for Billericay Town midfielder Glenn Poole when his side go to Staines Town tomorrow in the Conference South.

Poole earmarked this game as one he was looking forward to because he knows many regulars at Wheatsheaf Park because of his time at their League neighbours Brentford.

“I used to live five minutes away from Staines’ ground for about two years while I was at Brentford, so I’m very familiar with the place,” he said.

“But the first time I’d ever gone there to play was last season with Thurrock , and I scored.

“It’s a good set-up there with a nice pitch, and I know the manager Marcus Gayle from my time at Wimbledon, and a few of the players like Elliott Godfrey, Lewis Ferrell and the keeper Jack Turner. And some of the Brentford fans who know me might be in the crowd.

“So I’ll say hello but I’m not going there to do anyone any favours. “We’ve really clicked into gear over the past two weeks and we’re now playing how we should be playing.

“That result against Eastleigh and the performance against Tonbridge has confirmed to some of our younger players they do belong at this level and confidence is high now.”

Poole has always been a free-scoring midfielder but he admits it was a first for him this week when his manager Craig Edwards phoned him to reveal he is currently the division’s top scorer after an incredible run of six successful penalties in Town’s last six games.

Poole said: “I’ve scored nearly 200 goals in my career but I’ve never been top of the scoring charts. So it’s a nice feeling – even if it lasts for just a week!

“I’ve never known a run of penalties like this in such a short space of time, but I think we get them because we are a quick side and play at a high tempo.

“But I don’t feel any pressure because I’ve got a special technique – which I’m not going to reveal because some keepers might be reading this!

“I set myself a target of 15 goals this season, which was a bit tongue in cheek. “But I already have six and when I start chipping in with some ‘proper’ goals too I think I can reach that.”

Marc Charles-Smith will miss the game against his former club after he broke his arm in Saturday’s win over Eastleigh. Last season’s top-scorer Jay May has now completed a three-match suspension, but he’s rated as very doubtful after suffering a hamstring injury.

New signing Jacek Magdzinski is also a major concern for Billericay with an ankle injury.

But Town could be boosted by the return to full fitness of Dave Collis and Junior Luke, who both played 90 minutes in Tuesday’s friendly with Bishop’s Stortford. Billericay start the day in 11th, two points ahead of 17th placed Staines, who have played a game less on six.

Staines come into the game on the back of a 3-2 defeat at Welling United.

East Thurrock manager John Coventry revealed he could have a new striker in his squad for their game at home to Hendon in the Ryman Premier tomorrow.

The Rocks boss said he was talking to the player on Thursday and hoped to have him at training in the evening if a deal could be done.

Coventry went to watch Hendon beat Potters Bar in their FA Cup replay on Tuesday ahead of their match tomorrow.

He said: “They’re a very efficient and hard working side and Gary McCann does a good job there.

“It was good to get our first win of the season last week against Witham, but my players know they will have to up their game for this match.”

Coventry signalled out former Ipswich Town midfielder Darren Currie as a potential dangerman for Hendon.

He said: “He’s still got quality and if you give him time and space he will hurt you.”

Concord midfielder Danny Spendlove says he wants to have the last laugh over his old friend Lee Chappell when he lines up for Concord against his former club Wealdstone tomorrow.

Spendlove played 134 times for the Stones, scoring 17 goals, before joining Concord in the summer after a short spell at island neighbours Canvey last season.

The attacking midfielder says he’s looking forward to catching up with his former teammates, but hopes he’ll be the one smiling at full-time at the Aspect Arena tomorrow.

“I had a good three-year stint at Wealdstone, I became part of the furniture, and I only have good things to say about that club,” said Spendlove.

“This is the first time I will have played against them since I left and I’m looking forward to catching up with a few of my old teammates.

“But I will be 110 per cent committed to getting a result for Concord Rangers come kick-off time.

“If I play on the left I could come up against Lee Chappell, who I’ve known since I was seven – we started in the same youth team together at Wormley Youth.

“And he’ll be chipping away because he’s one of the biggest chatters in the Ryman league!

“So I’m not going to say too much now but I hope I’m the one smiling at the end of the game.”

Spendlove said he decided to leave the Stones because he felt it had gone a bit “stale” there for him.

He said he enjoyed his brief spell at Canvey under then manager Glen Alzapiedi, but explained it did not work out because of his work commitments.

He said: “Now I’ve got the hunger to play again after coming to Concord.

“I had four months off after playing for Canvey but I’m starting to get back to where I want to be in terms of performances and I hope to be there soon.”

Both the Beachboys and the Stones come into the game on the back of FA Cup wins last weekend – the former a 1-0 success at home to Needham Market, the latter a 2-0 home victory over Biggleswade Town.

Kick-off at the Aspect Arena tomorrow is at 3pm.

Canvey , who have a trip to Met Police tomorrow, will welcome back striker Bradley Woods-Garness and winger Dean Mason after their spell away on international duty with Montserrat.

The Gulls have made a solid start to the season but are without a win in four games and were knocked out of the FA Cup following a 3-0 defeat at Bury Town on Saturday.

Canvey are running a supporters’ coach to the game, which will leave the Prospects Stadium at 11.30am.

Tickets cost £15 for adults, £12 concessions and £7 for under-12s accompanied by a full paying adult. Seats can be reserved by calling Vic Bryant on 07917 726237.

Great Wakering manager Dan Trenkel will be looking for a good response from his side following a 2-0 Essex Senior League defeat at Bethnal Green on Saturday, and a 3-0 loss to Enfield 1893 in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy on Tuesday.

Tomorrow Rovers face Enfield 1893 for the second time in five days, but this time it is away and Trenkel will hope his side can pick up a win to keep pace with the other early pace-setters in the division.

Southend Manor were buoyed by a thumping 5-1 win away to London APSA in the Gordon Brasted on Tuesday, and Russell Faulkner will be hoping they can take that form into tomorrow’s trip to second-placed London Bari and pick up their first league win of the campaign.

And Hullbridge Sports will be looking to avoid their fourth straight defeat when they get underway in the FA Vase. Sports have a trip to Broad Lane to face Mo Osman’s Wivenhoe Town.

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