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Maidenhead manager Devonshire will send out 'strong' squad for Trophy tie against Halesowen Town

Seth Twumasi

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Maidenhead United will take on Halesowen Town on Saturday with a place in the third round of the FA Trophy at stake.

Manager Alan Devonshire has stated on many occasions that the league remains the club’s ‘bread and butter priority’, but he’d like to go well in the competition and will be sending out his strongest possible side against the Step 4 Southern League Central Division 1 side.

Halesowen have been in great form of late and currently sit third in their division. The Yeltz were bumped out of the Birmingham Senior Cup by Burton Albion on penalties this week, but haven’t been beaten over 90 minutes since their 2-0 league cup defeat to Daventry back on October 22, so Devonshire knows the Magpies will have their work cut out if they’re to progress.

Maidenhead booked their place in the second round with a thrilling 4-2 win over Hemel Hempstead Town at York Road in December. Josh Kelly, Danny Whitehall and a brace of goals from the returning Shamir Fenelon were enough to see the Magpies through.

Halesowen saw off Bradford Park Avenue in the last round, triumphing 2-0 in a replay after the first game finished 2-2. Simeon Cobourne netted twice for the Yeltz that night.

“I don’t think we’ve ever played them before,” said Devonshire. “But listen they’re flying. They’re scoring a lot of goals. I know the system they play and they’ve got a boy up top who’s scored 28 goals this year, so they’ll fancy their chances.

“It’s a home game for them and I reckon the pitch won’t be great. We’ve just got to go there and do a job.

“There are boys that need games and they will play. It’s a Trophy game and we want to win. We’ll go strong but we’ll also make a couple of changes. Nothing major.”

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