Kirkham's Vase debut has been a success

IT may be the first year they have entered the FA Vase, but Kirkham & Wesham are making quite an impact on their debut in the competition.The North West Counties Division Two side are Needham Market's opponents on Saturday in the first leg of FA Vase semi-final.

Mike Bacon

IT may be the first year they have entered the FA Vase, but Kirkham & Wesham are making quite an impact on their debut in the competition.

The North West Counties Division Two side are Needham Market's opponents on Saturday in the first leg of FA Vase semi-final.

But it was only two years ago Kirkham & Wesham, near Blackpool, were playing on park pitches

Seven times winners of the West Lancashire League Premier Division, the club won four titles in a row between 2003 and 2007.

And after purchasing land some four miles from their council-owned home, Kirkham & Wesham began their move up the football pyramid.

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“Our move up the leagues has been a challenge and the FA Vase has been a new challenge this season,” said Kirkham manager Mick Fuller.

“You need a bit of luck with the draw but we have come through games with flying colours.”

Not however on Saturday.

Kirkham, like Needham Market, suffered a big home defeat (0-4 to New Mills) and Fuller - who was at Bloomfields watching Needham Market, wasn't happy.

“At Needham I was getting texts telling me we were losing and I'm thinking 'what's going on?'

“I am very disappointed with the result because apart from anything we concede few goals,” said Fuller, pictured.

“Maybe some of our players' minds were elsewhere, but I've told them in no uncertain terms, we will not carry any passengers on Saturday. I'll simply change the line-up as I see fit.”

Fuller has been at Kirkham & Wesham for 15 years and he was impressed with what he saw of Needham.

“They clearly play football. From what I saw they are not a physical side, a bit like us. I believe the boy Parker (Craig) is injured and Scott Wark.

“Parker must be a good player with his goalscoring record.”

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