Godbold: Needham have got a better draw

LOWESTOFT Town and Needham Market have been left on track for an all-Suffolk FA Vase final at Wembley Stadium in May.That was the result of yesterday's semi-final draw at Soho Square which saw both Ridgeons League sides kept apart.

Mike Bacon

LOWESTOFT Town and Needham Market have been left on track for an all-Suffolk FA Vase final at Wembley Stadium in May.

That was the result of yesterday's semi-final draw at Soho Square which saw both Ridgeons League sides kept apart.

However only Lowestoft know their semi-final opponents - Whitley Bay - while Needham will have to wait and see who they play, after north-west side Kirkham & Wesham and Coventry Sphinx drew on Saturday. The replay is at Coventry this weekend.

Whitley Bay are former Vase winners (they beat Tiptree in the 2002 final), and have already beaten holders Truro on their way to an impressive run that included victory at Hungerford on Saturday.

“I think Needham have got the better draw,” Lowestoft Town midfielder Jamie Godbold said. “It probably wasn't our preferred draw and with us being away in the second leg as well.

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“But we have done enough the hard way already so far, with wins over Dunston, who were second favourites at the time, and Concord, who were second favourites before the weekend.

“You have simply got to believe you can cause an upset otherwise there is no point in playing. On our day we are capable of beating anyone.”

Almost half the crowd at Concord on Saturday were from Lowestoft as FA Vase fever grips the famous old club.

Needham Market's challenge on five cup and league fronts continues tonight at Felixstowe & Walton in the Ridgeons League Cup semi-final.

However yesterday's talk at Bloomfields was all about another semi-final draw, the FA Vase. For Needham it will be either Kirkham & Wesham or Coventry Sphinx in the semi-final, the two clubs having to replay in the midlands this Saturday after a thrilling draw in the north-west at the weekend.

For Needham midfielder Craig Parker it wasn't of great concern who his club were paired against.

“At this stage you simply know it is going to be a tough game whoever you draw,” he said. “Perhaps having the second leg at home may be an advantage, but you just don't know.

“People had said do we want to draw Lowestoft, but I wasn't really fussed. We have a big game at Felixstowe & Walton in the League Cup semi-final on Tuesday night (tonight) and we will have to take that game first.”

Coventry Sphinx, who knocked out Stanway Rovers in round five, fought back bravely at Kirkham on Saturday to secure their replay. They have already won a team of the round award. But Needham manager Danny Laws is keeping things low-key. “We have got lots of important league and cup games to play before we play the semi-final,” he said.

“We don't know who we're playing yet, so we'll wait and see.”

Full draw: Lowestoft Town v Whitley Bay, Kirkham & Wesham or Coventry Sphinx v Needham Market. First legs Saturday, March 22, second legs Saturday, March 29.

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