A HOME TIE IS A LOT TO ASK FOR LIT­TLE

The Non-League Football Paper - - SATURDAY MATCH CENTRE - By Hugo Var­ley

WINGATE & Finch­ley man­ager Glen Lit­tle had dou­ble rea­son to cel­e­brate af­ter dump­ing Chip­pen­ham Town out of the FA Tro­phy – they were fi­nally handed a home draw in the next round!

“We have spent hours on the mo­tor­way for this com­pe­ti­tion al­ready!” joked the for­mer Read­ing mid­fielder.

“The round be­fore last we were drawn against Tiver­ton so we trekked for five hours down to Devon and then did the three­hour trip to Chip­pen­ham last week­end so be­ing at home will cer­tainly be a re­fresh­ing change.”

Lit­tle’s side en­dured a nerve-wrack­ing fi­nal 15 min­utes to hold onto a 3-2 vic­tory in Tuesday night’s replay, which set up a tie against Dul­wich Ham­let next month.

“Those fi­nal few min­utes were rather tense be­cause Chip­pen­ham were throw­ing ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing they had at us and we were camped in­side our own box a bit,” Lit­tle ad­mit­ted.

“Our keeper made an ab­so­lutely bril­liant save at the death and it was a joy to hear the fi­nal whis­tle.

“We have now set our­selves up with a game against an­other Na­tional League South side and there is no rea­son why we can’t go out and cre­ate an­other up­set.”

Lit­tle orig­i­nally ar­rived at The Mau­rice Re­bak Sta­dium as Nicky Shorey’s as­sis­tant in Oc­to­ber but has taken over man­age­rial du­ties in re­cent weeks fol­low­ing his for­mer Read­ing team­mate’s de­par­ture.

“It has cer­tainly been an event­ful few weeks with lots of ups and downs” he ex­plained. “It was never re­ally my in­ten­tion to go into man­age­ment and I was here to help Nicky out be­cause I had done a bit of coach­ing along­side Jody Brown at Welling and Hey­bridge.

“When Nicky left I felt as though it wouldn’t have looked great if I had im­me­di­ately fol­lowed him so I asked the Chair­man if he fan­cied tak­ing a bit of a chance on me.

“The team has been stretched a lot – the other night was the first time that I have been able to name an un­changed team for two games in a row. Now, though, the squad is be­gin­ning to fill up and we have a sense of strength and depth.”

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