Tuesday nights West Berkshire derby has been in the Football in Berkshire diary since the draw was made in October, pitching Thatcham Town at home to Hungerford Town.
Separated by two divisions, step 2 Vanarama National League South Hungerford lead by Ian Herring head to the BetVictor Southern League Division One South step 4 Kingfishers lead by Danny Robinson in a match that promises to be a proper local derby.
As well as the fixture, there are also County Cup ties between Marlow and Windsor, Flackwell Heath and Didcot Town and Newport Pagnell Town and Chesham United on Tuesday night.
Football in Berkshire will be reporting via twitter from the Stacatruc Stadium so make sure you give us a follow @fiberkshire for updates.
Despite the difference in levels between the two sides, we think this one will be a tight affair as derbies often tend to be. While not necessarily predicting a score, you can vote for who you think will win via our twitter poll:
‘Ian has done a great job, I can only admire that’
Speaking ahead of the game, Kingfishers manager Danny Robinson was eagerly awaiting the tie. He said: “It’s a game since the draw we have been looking forward to. Over the years there has been great rivalry and many players swapping sides throughout. In truth it’s a bit of a free hit for us in respects of where the clubs are.
“Ian has done a great job first of all keeping Hungerford up last season and this season they have shown once again why they firmly belong in the Conference South, can only admire that.
“On Saturday we played what I feel is one of the best step 3 clubs I have seen in a long time in Enfield and we made uncharacteristic individual mistakes that we haven’t made all season. If we do that tonight it will end in the same outcome. But my players have been nothing short of terrific since the very first whistle this season. If anyone said you would be in November unbeaten in the league, having achieved the furthest the club has gone in the FA Trophy and loosing to Salisbury on TV in the FA Cup I would’ve bitten their arm off!”
‘Danny has assembled a very good side’
FiB spoke to Crusaders boss Ian Herring who saw his sides National League tie at home to Tonbridge Angels postponed on Saturday. He said: “After our game being called off Saturday it’s good to have a game tonight. Yes it’s a local derby, yes they have some players who have played for us but do we get wrapped up in that? No.
“We know what we’re in for, Danny has assembled a very good side who are undefeated in the league and coming off the back of a 5-0 loss. Tonight’s an opportunity to for our group to show why they should be in our dressing room. It’s a good tie for local football and let’s hope a lot come out to watch.”
Thatcham: Curtis Angell is out with a ankle injury. Matt Partridge is unavailable due to work. Sam Barder is 50/50 with a foot injury. Long term injuries are Joe Selman, John Beeden and Jack Stanley. Gareth Thomas has now been ruled out for the rest of the season as he requires a plate in his ankle. Callum Willmoth is available to play tomorrow night but will be suspended for Saturdays game against Mangotsfield. Everyone else is available. Read the preview on the Thatcham site here.
Hungerford: Mike Jones, Louis McGrory, Yan Klukowski still unavailable due to injury, Akinwanle Odimayo unavailable due to parent club [Reading FC] not wanting him cup tied. Read the preview on the Hungerford site here.
- Adults – £9
- Concessions – £6
- Under-16s – £2
Kick off: 7.45pm
Venue: Stacatruc Stadium, Waterside Park, Crookham Hill, Thatcham, Berkshire RG19 4PA.