Sep 24 2010 By Greg Burns
ANDY Leese said friendship will be put on the back burner when Wealdstone visit in the FA Cup this weekend.
Leese and Stones boss Gordon Bartlett go back a long way in non-league football circles and the Generals chief even spent time as joint-managers at the London club in 2005.
But a £4,500 prize kitty and a place in the third qualifying round is up for grabs for both clubs.
So, while the two will share a drink and reminisce at full-time, it will be strictly business come kick-off.
He said: "I have known Gordon for a long time. He asked me to come in and do some coaching for him when they were struggling and I was happy to accept.
"Unfortunately, it was a bit of a strange time in my management career because I snapped my Achilles tendon playing for the Vets side and that really restricted what I was able to do.
"I have a got a lot of time for Gordon but all the pleasantries will be reserved for after the game."
Chesham go into the weekend clash as the in-form team and probably favourites with Wealdstone struggling to hit the heights of last season.
Leese's side have hit the ground running in the Southern Premier Division this season and sit third after an excellent start to life back in the top flight.
The Stones narrowly missed out on the Ryman Premier Division play-offs last term and have made a stuttering start to their campaign.
Just two league wins leave them in 17th place and coming into the cup battle on the back of a 3-0 home defeat to Carshalton on Monday night.
"They are a bit of a wounded animal at the moment because expectations at the club are very high," said Leese. "They have lost a few games but this is a one-off and that all goes out of the window.
"I am really looking forward to the game. There should be a great crowd and a top atmosphere. They have some excellent players and if they click into gear then they can really test us."
The game looked set to be dominated by the return to The Meadow of striker Danny Burnell who left United for the Stones in the summer.
But he has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Grosvenor Vale and signed for Southern League Division One Central promotion hopefuls Slough Town on Tuesday.
United skipper Danny Talbot is a doubt for the weekend clash with a thigh injury but striker Gabriel Fanibuyan may return after ankle and thigh knocks.