Match Preview: Arlesey Town (H) – League
By Leon Waite – @leonwaite98
United moved within five points of the leaders after a comprehensive 4-0 win at Cockfosters last time out. Joe Hankins’s hat-trick inspired the visitors to victory in north London as Alex Salvador’s side’s strong response to defeat against second-place Hadley five weeks ago continued.
Since that 2-0 reverse, five straight league wins have followed with 16 goals scored and just one conceded in that period. Exiting the North Beds Charity Cup at the semi-final stage at home to local rivals Biggleswade FC a fortnight ago was disappointing but the team’s resurgent league form shows little sign of relenting.
United are guaranteed to finish higher than they ever have and if promotion is perhaps slightly beyond the realms of possibility at this stage, the last five games present an opportunity to lay down a marker ahead of next year- starting against Arlesey Town.
Relegated from the Southern League Division One East last term, Arlesey have lingered on the periphery of the top four without quite enough consistency to break into that bracket as they sit 8th.
Their 1-1 draw with United in mid-January launched a six-game unbeaten run, although the Blues managed just two wins in that sequence before going down 2-1 at Oxhey Jets. They won the return fixture 4-2 with a 0-0 draw with Edgware Town in between. Most recently they were humbled 5-0 at Tring Athletic and subsequently beaten 1-0 by Wembley at New Lamb Meadow.
Another local derby for United to contend with as they welcome Arlesey Town to Second Meadow on Saturday, KO 3pm.