WIFC make the short journey to the north of Hertfordshire to face Stevenage this Saturday, in one of two county-derbies available in the IFA. This will be WIFC’s 5th visit to the Badgers, as the Stevenage fans team are known, and the Internet ‘Orns are yet to record a win. In fact, Stevenage are one of only a few IFA teams that WIFC have never beaten. Despite this, the club did win it’s last silverware at the Stevenage tournament, which was held in 2010.
Manager Chris Davis, back in the saddle after illness prevented him making the Preston season opener, has a strong squad to select from with 20 players making themselves available for the trip. “As it’s early in the season, and we’ve had such a good turn-out for an away fixture, it seems harsh to leave anyone out” said Davis. “Though it will mean a few managerial headaches in making sure all players get a minimum of 45 minutes, it also gives me a chance to try a few different things out and we have a pair of debutants to blood in Brad Simmons and James Jenkins”
Meetings with the Badgers stretch back to 2009 and have always been high scoring affairs. The first fixture in the series ended in a 7-7 draw, with former joint manager Scott Mathers scoring 4, to add to strikes from Jimmy Davis, Chris Dundon and Mat Ball. The only one of the 6 fixtures to be played in Watford followed later that season, with the Badgers taking the spoils in a 5-4 win despite 2 more for Davis and a Paul Whittenbury brace. The last meeting saw WIFC come back from three goals down to grab a late draw in a pre-Worldnet friendly. Alex Prentice started the ball rolling, with late strikes from Stuart Nicholls and Steve Eustice forcing the draw.
Full Record – WIFC v Stevenage
All-time scorers v Stevenage
4 – Scott Mathers
3 – Jimmy Davis
2 – Paul Whittenbury, Adam Herd
1 – Chris Dundon, Mat Ball, Laurence Wells, Alex Prentice, Stuart Nicholls, Steve Eustice