Scales targets the league for Woodbridge but is still keen on an FA Vase run as Woodpeckers entertain Hoddesdon

Woodbridge's Alfie Stronge pulls off an amazing penalty save which kept the scorer at 1-3 at Swaffha

Woodbridge's Alfie Stronge pulls off an amazing penalty save which kept the scorer at 1-3 at Swaffham last week. Photo: PAUL LEECH - Credit: Archant

Woodbridge Town take a break from league action this afternoon, as they entertain Hoddesdon Town in the FA Vase.

The league has been very fruitful so far for Jamie Scales’ side, as they sit top of Thurlow Nunn Division One, having won six and drawn one of their first seven games.

It’s the sort of start Scales could only have dreamt of at the start of the season, as the Woodpeckers look to make that final step back into Premier Division football, having come so close last season.

So, is the Vase a welcome distraction for Scales?

“Well, the most important thing is the league, there is no doubt about that,” Scales said.

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“But the Vase can be a nice bonus. So long as we are not embroiled in a mass of replays and we make some progress, that is fine.

“But the league is the thing for us this season.”

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Woodbridge finished fourth in the last campaign as Coggeshall, Stowmarket and Haverhill Borough all made the move up to Step 5.

Scales knows his side are one of the favourites for the title this time round, but he says there is no pressure on his players.

“There is a great togetherness about this squad of players,” he said. “They are under no pressure.

“Most of them have come through the youth ranks here, either recently or have come full circle and are back here after moving away.

“There is a great unity about them, no animosity, a good bunch.

“We have made a good start, but we are not the only team that have in this division. But if you had told me after seven games we would have won six and drawn one, I would have taken that for sure!”

Hoddesdon Town are members of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, where they sit in sixth place having lost just one league game so far this season.

“They play a level above us, so it will be a good test,” Scales added.

“It is a game for us to look forward to. It is nice for the first team to be successful, it benefits the whole club.

“The club has put a lot of time into the youth and a lot of effort. It’s not always about money. You need a plan in place and sometimes you have to re-invent yourself a bit.”

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