Louis Soares - new signing stands by for first start
HUNGERFORD Town face another potentially searching examination when they take on unbeaten Ryman League Premier Division leaders Leiston at Bulpit Lane on Saturday in the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The Suffolk side are four points clear of Havant and Waterlooville in the table, and their only reserve this term was a 6-3 defeat at Brightlingsea Regent in the competition’s League Cup.
But that was with a second string squad, and Hungerford are well aware of what awaits them from Leiston’s full force on Saturday.
“We’ve done our homework and are in for a massive game,” said manager Bobby Wilkinson. “They are absolutely flying, are quick, organised with good strikers and are an outstanding side.”.
But Wilkinson is concentratng on his own side and getting their performance right after last week’s home league defeat at Hampton and Richmond’s hands.
“Maybe we worried too much about them last week,” he said. “We’ve got to worry about our own game and try not to worry about Leiston too much. We know how good they are, but we’ve learned something from last week.”
There is £7,500 up for grabs on Saturday - or for the winners of a Wednesday night replay - as well as a match one game away from a possible meeting with a Football League club in the First Round proper on November 5.
Hungerford are likely to give a full debut to loan signing Louis Soares, who joined from Oxford City last week with a view to a permanent transfer, and the 31-year old Barbados international with experience at Bristol Rovers, Aldershot and Southend.
HUNGERFORD’s home advantage makes them slight favourites with Bet365 and BetVictor, who price them at 5/4 and 7/5 respectively with Leiston 5/2 on both books and a replay 8/5 and 9.5 respectively.
A 1-0 win for either side is 10/1 and 11/1 accordingly and the same odds apply to a 2-1 result.