Wakehurst aim to avoid being stumped in Derriaghy cup clash

Wakehurst manager Ian Gregg. Picture: Press Eye.
Wakehurst manager Ian Gregg. Picture: Press Eye.

Wakehurst embark upon one of the most important days in the football calendar for junior and intermediate clubs this weekend.

The Ballymena side travel to Derriaghy Cricket Club in the fourth round of the Irish Cup on Saturday.

But despite the possibility of a getting into the fifth round and landing a potentially money-spinning tie against a Premiership side like Linfield or Ballymena United, Wakehurst boss Ian Gregg isn’t getting overly excited.

“I don’t think you can really look beyond the next game,” Gregg told Times Sport.

“We don’t know an awful lot about Derriaghy to be honest, but it’s only a couple of years ago that they reached the stage where the senior clubs came in and they gave Ballymena United a pretty good test before eventually losing.

“They play in the Premier Division of the Amateur League which to my mind would be on a par with our own Championship Two level so it will be a difficult game.

“I think the fact that it’s not a league game relieves a certain amount of pressure because the league is your bread and butter and it has that intensity to it but at the same time, it’s an important game and one that we want to win.”

By the time Wakehurst travel to Seycon Park, it will have been three weeks since their last fixture and while the break has aided the recovery of a number of players with niggly knocks, the manager still has injury concerns over key players.

Top goalscorer Conor Gregg is awaiting a scan for possible knee cartilage damage but he has been given the all-clear to play in the meantime, while a scan this week is expected to finally reveal the extent of midfielder George Young’s knee injury.

Off the field, Wakehurst officials have held discussions with Northern Ireland Football League chiefs with regard to eligibility to receive any grant funding that may be made available from the governing body.

Wakehurst have played away from Ballymena for the past five years due to a lack of a Championship standard ground in the borough - ground-sharing with both Tobermore and Moyola Park, but a return to their home town has always remained a cherished dream for the club.