HALESOWEN are hoping for their biggest gate of the season as they preapre for Saturday’s much anticipated FA Cup second qualifying round tie with Tipton Town.
The Yeltz go into what is a massive game for both clubs, on and off the field, and sees boss John Hill come up against a side he steered to the FA Cup first round proper where they lost to Carlisle United in 2010.
Chairman Colin Brookes said: “Obviously a good cup run is huge for clubs financially and we are no different. “You only have to see how clubs like Stourbridge kicked on on the back of a good cup run in recent years.
“It will be big game for us on the pitch and a big game in the dugouts with John pitting his wits against Ian Rowe — the two are big pals so that should be interesting.”
Yeltz have a number of injury concerns but could welcome back Jean Michel-Gueyes who has been out since the preliminary round win over Black Country Rangers.
The striker is rated 50/50 although he was on the bench for Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Kidsgrove Athletic when they were denied a win by a controversial late penalty. Ben Haseley and Iyseden Christie got the goals and both are in a rich vein of form. Haseley has eight in 10 games while Christie has three from four. That came on the back of Saturday’s 3-0 win at home to Brigg Town which was a sixth straight success and the side are full of confidence according to Brookes.
He said: “We should really have won on Tuesday. “We missed anumber of chances. But our recent form counts for nothing come Saturday.
“The FA Cup has a habit of throwing up upsets and we have to hope we can avoid that. “Our gates have been up 40-50 per cent and let’s hope for our biggest gate of the season.”
Sam Pearson will continue to deputise for keeper Paul Evans who is on honeymoon. Aaron Griffiths and Dan Parker are definitely ruled out but influential midfielder Neil McKenzie could return. Curtis Tilt, who signed from Tipton, is cup tied. Gavin Winsper is still out and defender Joe Hull is still recovering from a shoulder operation.
Brookes added: “We have our fair share of injuries but John has put together a very good squad of young players and sometimes the cup can get players fitter quicker.
“We watched Tipton and they’ve watched us, Ian was here the other night, so both clubs have prepared in the right way and we are really looking forward to it.”