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Great Wakering Rovers host top-of-the-table Basildon United
11:13am Tuesday 14th August 2012 in Billericay Town & Concord Rangers: Conference South By James Colasanti
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GREAT Wakering host league leaders Basildon United tonight and both will be keen to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Rovers, relegated from Ryman One North last season, started this campaign as many people’s tip for Essex Senior League title and they did nothing to dispel that with an opening day 4-1 win over Stansted.
They also survived a late scare against Woodbridge Town on Saturday to progress in the FA Cup, but tonight could be their toughest test yet against a Basildon side who’ve started with three wins from three.
John Higley’s team have two wins in the league – including a derby victory at Bowers – and progressed in the FA Cup with a 1-0 home win over Diss Town.
The Bees, who resigned and then rejoined the league this summer, are showing signs they’ve left last season’s tumultuous campaign behind them.
They’ll go into tonight’s derby full of confidence, and Great Wakering coach James Haylock says they’re anticipating a tough test at Burroughs Park.
“They’ve started really well and they’ll be coming here to win,” he said. “We’ve spoken to people and they’ve said they are a big and strong side, so we must be prepared for that.
“But we are a footballing side, so we need to make sure we are not dragged into a fight against Basildon.”
Haylock says Wakering had Basildon watched against Bowers, and he singled out Bees midfielder Alton Thelwell as a dangerman.
He said: “I think he was in the Tottenham side with Ledley King, and he captained Hull, so he can’t be a bad player.
“He was originally a defender but I think he’s been playing in central midfield for Basildon, so he’s one we’ve got to watch out for.”
Elsewhere in the division, Southend Manor will look to build on Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup win over Hullbridge Sports when they host Burnham Ramblers tonight.
Manor were disappointed to surrender a 3-0 lead in their opening-day draw at Barking, and will be keen to register their first league win against a Ramblers side who’ve started with a league defeat at Enfield 1893 and a draw at home to Hullbridge.