Framlingham prepare for big day in the Vase

MANAGER Mel Aldis is under no illusions as to what Diss Town’s visit to Framlingham Town means to the Kingsley Healthcare SIL club.

Framlingham, who play at Step 7, are believed to be the lowest ranked club in this season’s competition – and tomorrow they entertain the only Ridgeons League side ever to win the coveted FA Vase in the Second Qualifying Round.

Diss, who last season won promotion back to the Ridgeons League Premier Division (Step 5) after a four-season absence, lifted the trophy in 1994, after defeating Taunton Town 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley Stadium.

Aldis said: “It will be Framlingham’s first-ever home game in the FA Vase and it will be a big day for the club and especially for the likes of (life vice president) Sid Vice and (chairman) Geoff Mayhew.

“I think we are the lowest-ranked team in the FA Vase and to play Diss, who are former winners and only 15 miles away, will be quite a nerve-racking occasion for us.

“They are a club that the nearby market towns of Debenham, Framlingham and Stowmarket aspire to.”

Framlingham have their sights set on a place in the Ridgeons League next season, after a relaxation of the rules this season means they have to finish in the top eight of the SIL Senior Division to be eligible for possible promotion.

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But that seems a long way off right now with Framlingham sitting rock bottom of the Senior Division after losing 5-1 at champions Grundisburgh last Saturday and taking just two points from their opening six matches.

Aldis said: “Ipswich Athletic scored a 94th minute equaliser against us on the opening day of the season, and we have been nervous since about getting that first win.

“We all knew when I took the job it was going to be a difficult season, but I still think we have got good enough players for us to get into the top half of the league, providing we can get them on the pitch.

“We had six of our first choice 11 players out on Saturday, which included Kiefer Bultitude who is a postman and rung me to say he had been delayed by the Tour of Britain race in Ipswich! However, we held Grundisburgh to 2-0 with 12 minutes to go before eventually losing 5-1.”

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