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Ashanike expects tough test for Tower Hamlets’ FA Vase heroes at Basildon United

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 September 2017

Action from the FA Vase tie between Tower Hamlets and Little Oakley (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the FA Vase tie between Tower Hamlets and Little Oakley (pic Tim Edwards)

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Tower Hamlets joint-manager AJ Ashanike expects a tough test against Essex Senior League high-flyers Basildon United this weekend.

Action from the FA Vase tie between Tower Hamlets and Little Oakley (pic Tim Edwards) Action from the FA Vase tie between Tower Hamlets and Little Oakley (pic Tim Edwards)

The Mile End-based club travel up the A12 to face the fourth-placed outfit on Saturday and will look to make it nine wins in a row at the Stuart Bingham Stadium.

“Basildon is going to be a tough game for us,” said Ashanike.

“They lost to Enfield recently and I managed to watch the first half of that, so I know a bit about them, but Ade (Abayomi) and I will do more homework on them.”

Ashanike praised their opponents and believes they have got themselves off to a great start to life in the Essex Senior League.

“They’re a new side, the manager has come in this year and done a great job and the team have had a good start to the season,” he added.

Basildon currently sit one spot in front of Tower Hamlets after winning five, drawing two and only losing one match in their first eight league fixtures.

While Ashanike’s men got off to a slow start, they have been setting the league alight in recent weeks and he is confident they can continue their form.

“The confidence is high right now and if the boys can stick to the plan then we should come away with something,” he said.

Tower Hamlets progressed into the second round of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy after beating Stansted 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw and will now face Sawbridgeworth Town.

Ashanike and Abayomi played a number of the youth team and rested most of the first-team squad, but they are expected to welcome back John Watson and Lamar Earl, who have missed the last few matches.

“Most of the squad will be rested and will come back fresh for this match,” he said. “John Watson is coming back from a ban and Lamar Earl is also back.”

Ashanike also praised the current form of Curtis Pond and Luke With after the pair dominated the scoresheet in their 10-1 FA Vase victory against Little Oakley on Saturday, which earned a trip to Halstead next month.

He said: “People were asking me the other day why Curtis hasn’t scored in three games, but it doesn’t matter as everyone is scoring, but then he went and got four and I’m sure that’s done his confidence the world of good.

“Luke has got six in five games now and has done really well so far this season.”

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