New & Familiar Faces In The Fold For Saturday
Wanderers head to Essex on Saturday for the third time already this campaign, and will be eager to put a frustrating bank holiday weekend behind them as they seek a first win on the road. A tough battle at Braintree last Saturday saw the points shared in a 2-2 draw, skipper Barry Fuller opening the scoring early with his first goal for the club, before Monday's encounter with Hungerford Town at Meadowbank, where Wanderers were on the end of a 1-2 reverse. Wanderers were undone in a fragmented game by two second half goals after Bobby-Joe Taylor's second penalty conversion in three days had opened the scoring right on half-time.
Marc White's side have been hit hard with early injuries and absences, and whilst Matt Briggs will unfortunately continue to be ruled out with a shoulder injury, midfielders James McShane and Josh Taylor will both be hoping to be in the matchday squad after coming through illness and suspension respectively. Striker Jason Prior will also be aiming to be in contention, Jimmy Muitt may miss out though after being substituted during the first half of Monday's game after picking up a dead leg.
As announced in recent days, Wanderers have managed to secure a loan signing in the form of attacking midfielder James Tilley from Crawley Town. A product of Brighton's academy set up, Tilley joins with football league experience having featured previously at Yeovil Town and Grimsby Town before joining Crawley. Historically reluctant to use the loan market, even at these times of injury and absence within the squad, manager Marc White views the signing as a 'coup' for the football club and we look forward to seeing James as part of the matchday squad on Saturday.
It has also been confirmed this past week that Cameron Black will join Leatherhead on loan for a month, we wish Cameron all the best.
'The Clarets' come into Saturday's fixture with an identical set of opening results as Wanderers; one win, one draw, two losses. Keeper Jacob Marsden, stepping into the departed Lee Worgan's boots between the sticks this season, was the hero last weekend with a man of the match display and penalty save as Chelmsford secured a goalless draw on the road at Ebbsfleet, and Robbie Simpson will be hoping for continuity this weekend as his side look to get off the mark at home. After a substantial rebuild last summer Simpson has retained many of the same personnel, supplementing his squad this term with a blend of youth and experience, including players who came in and had an impact during the course of last season. Charlie Sheringham enjoyed a fruitful spell on loan from Dartford, he and experienced football league campaigner Simeon Jackson, who also had an impact on loan last term, have both signed on for the year to provide the fire power up top. Sheringham has already opened his goal account, as has Michael 'Dara Dada' Oluwadara, a midfielder signed from St. Albans. Elsewhere, Dave Winfield adds vast experience at the back, and former Colchester United academy prospects Louis Dunne (midfield) and Callum Jones (striker) have also come in and become immediately part of Robbie Simpson's first team plans.
Wanderers have had memorable encounters at Melbourne Stadium in the past couple of seasons for differing reasons. In November 2019 the sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, Sam Higgins opening the scoring for 'The Clarets' just before half-time, but two goals in ten minutes for Wanderers after the restart from Tom Richards and a 30-yard worldie from Sam Beard (well worth a view on YouTube) turned the game around. A late Shaun Jeffers equaliser ensured the spoils were shared though in the end.
Last season's encounter will be remembered as unfortunately the final game of the early curtailed campaign, a rare Monday night fixture where Wanderers secured a one nil win courtesy of Matt Briggs first half strike.