Ipswich Wanderers on the pursuit of FA Cup glory against Hoddesdon

Ipswich Wanderers' manager Glenn Read

Ipswich Wanderers' manager Glenn Read

They are the team to beat, and Ipswich Wanderers will look to cast another spell at the weekend when the magic of the FA Cup arrives at Humber Doucy Lane.

Glenn Read’s side are unbeaten in five league and cup games this season – have dropped just two points in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division – and topped the pile ahead of last night’s fixtures featuring second-top Hadleigh United and fourth-top Norwich United.

This Saturday, Hertfordshire-based Hoddesdon Town come to Ipswich and will battle it out for almost £2,000 and a place in the competition’s First Round qualifying stage. The prize money may be a drop in the ocean, compared to the £1.8m picked up by the winners, but for a club like Wanderers, it’s a welcome source of income.

“We had a decent run in the FA Vase last year and success like that brings in a bit of money,” said Read, who guided his side to promotion from Thurlow Nunn Division One last season.

“We have attracted more people through the gate as a result of our promotion last season and that brings in more revenue, as will an FA Cup run, which keeps the chairman and directors happy.

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“I think there will be a decent crowd on Saturday, but we have a group of fans who follow us home and away and make enough noise anyway.”

Since the start of the season, Wanderers have defeated Diss, Whitton and Thetford in the league and have seen off Stansted in the cup.

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“I think we have surprised a few people. We finished behind Whitton and Fakenham on our way to promotion last season and I think a few people thought we might come up and go straight down again,” Read, whose team have already made £1,500 from their FA Cup run this season, added.

“But we took points off the top two last season and that created a bit of interest.

“We have got a fantastic pitch which is looked after by Ipswich Town and it suits my philosophy, which is to get the ball down and play.

“Come Christmas if we are still in the top half, that will represent a good start for us. We don’t want to be battling down at the bottom.”

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