Big non-league preview: Steps 3 and 4 begin, FA Vase. Our thoughts, our predictions on 17 games....
League action commences for our Step 3 and 4 clubs this weekend, as well as the FA Vase getting underway. Lots of big games. MIKE BACON and CARL MARSTON cast their eyes over them.
Lots of cracking ties this weekend and Suffolk sides have plenty on their plate, with the Southern League and Isthmian League beginning, as well as the FA Vase.
Marston currently leads Bacon 13-17 in the predictions standings - 3pts for a correct result and scoreline, 1pt for a correct result.
SOUTHERN CENTRAL PREM
Redditch v Needham Market
Last season this would have been a shoe-in for the Marketmen, as Redditch struggled badly. But they have had some decent investment in the summer and made several new signings. Fascinating to see how this one will go.
MIKE: 1-1, CARL 1-2
Leiston v Rushall Olympic
Former Wolves man Michael Kightly could make his league debut for Olympic at Victory Road. Early, big test for Darren Eadie’s young Leiston side, who have enjoyed a good pre-season.
MIKE: 1-1, CARL 1-2
Barwell v Lowestoft
Morale-boosting result and performance from Jamie Godbold’s side in midweek as they beat Bury to reach the Premier Cup final. No reason they can’t start this new league campaign with a bang.
MIKE: 0-2, CARL 2-2
Great Wakering v Felixstowe & Walton
The Seasiders will be looking to achieve a better start than last season, an opening day 4-1 loss at home to the same side. Felixstowe hope to welcome back Noel Aitkens and Curtis Haynes-Brown from injury.
MIKE: 1-1, CARL 1-2
AFC Sudbury v Coggeshall Tn
Sudbury came from behind to win their FA Cup clash last week and showed great resilence in doing so. On their home 3G could well just have enough for Coggeshall. This has all the makings of a thoroughly interesting clash.
MIKE: 3-1, CARL 2-0
Basildon v Bury
The Basildon manager quit this week after one game, so which Basildon side will turn up? Bury didn’t play badly in their Premier Cup defeat to Lowestoft in midweek and have the quality to get their league season off to a good start.
MIKE: 0-3, CARL 1-2
FA VASE 1st QR
Hadley v Hadleigh Utd
A battle of the clubs with the same sounding name, if not spelling! Christian Appleford’s Hadleigh have made a super start to the season and currently sit top of Thurlow Prem. Homesters, Hadley, from the Essex Senior league lost on pens to FC Clacton in the FA Cup last week.
MIKE: 1-0, CARL 0-1
Huntingdon v Mildenhall Tn
Step 6 opposition for Ricky Cornish’s side and Mildenhall must fancy their chances to progress. However, Huntingdon have won a couple of their opening UCL Division One games.
MIKE: 3-3, CARL 1-0
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Ilford v Long Melford
Could be a tricky one this for Long Melford. Ilford are fast attacking and can score goals, but they leak them as well. Melford will be buoyed by their FA Cup win in midweek.
MIKE: 1-2, CARL 2-1
Ipswich Wands v Brantham
Wanderers are on cloud 9 after reaching the Suffolk Senior Cup final in midweek, but Brantham are proving a tough nut to crack this season. The Blue Imps may have injuries, but they must start favourites.
MIKE: 0-2, CARL 1-3
Saffron Walden v Whitton
After a tough week all round at King George V, with the injury to keeper George Bugg and defeat to Dereham, it’s another tough trip on the road for Shane Coldron’s side. Potentially not a lot in this.
MIKE 2-2, CARL 2-0
Sheringham v Newmarket
It would be a huge shock should the Jockeys not see off their Step 6 opponents, although they will want to bounce back from their poor result (0-6), at Royston in the FA Cup last weekend.
MIKE: 0-4, CARL 2-2
Diss v Fakenham
An all-step 6 clash and it will be a tricky one to call. Fakenham have started the season impressively, but Diss had a fine win over Debenham last time out. Both sides will fancy this.
MIKE: 0-2, CARL 2-1
Lakenheath v Framlingham
The home side are three wins from three and this is a tough gig for Framlingham, who were beaten at home by March Town last week. Be a good one for Fram to come up trumps in.
MIKE: 3-0, CARL 4-0
EASTERN COUNTIES PREM
Haverhill v Woodbridge
Neither side has won a league game as yet and both sides will want to win and build some confidence. Rovers had a fine victory over Wisbech in the FA Cup, but were disappointing in midweek to Hadleigh.
MIKE 1-1, CARL 2-2
Thetford v Stowmarket
You have to fancy Stowmarket to pick up all three points at a Thetford side who have yet to win a game, bar one in the FA Cup.
MIKE 0-3, CARL 0-2
Henley v Benhall St Mary
One match, one win for Henley, two matches, two wins for Benhall. Something has to give and it should be a fascinating contest. One suspects Benhall will have to have their A game on to pick up a point or three.
MIKE: 3-1, CARL 1-3
RUNNING SCORE: Mike 13 Carl 17
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