Scopes would rather league points than Vase progress

WOODBRIDGE Town manager Mark Scopes would rather swap progress in the FA Vase for league points.

Scopes, whose side sit in 13th place in the Ridgeons League Premier Division following Tuesday’s 6-1 thumping of Hadleigh United, face Essex Senior League leaders Witham Town at Notcutts Park tomorrow.

Witham walloped Basildon United 9-1 last Saturday, after scoring seven times the week before, so both sides enter the First Round Proper tie in good goalscoring form.

After seeing Josh Mayhew and Paul Hart, who were both at Hadleigh last season, each score twice at the Millfield in midweek, Scopes said: “We needed that. We have been playing well, but just not scoring goals and not defending well enough.

“It is nice to see our two strikers putting the ball in the net, but I would like to see goals coming from everywhere. I want our midfielders and centre halves to contribute more goals.”

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Scopes, who has offered Steve Buckle the opportunity to join his managerial team after he parted company with Ipswich Wanderers last week, said he sees the Vase as a “nice distraction” to the bread and butter of the league.

“We have been notoriously bad in the cup competitions since I have been in charge. I think we have gone out in the first round in most cups, so it is nice to do well, although I would rather have league points if I am honest.

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“It is a nice distraction. You tend to mix it about a bit and use players who are not getting regular games.

“We will be up against a very good side who are scoring goals for fun.

“Witham won 9-1 at the weekend and are sitting top of their league, but we will set our stall out to play our usual game.”

Scopes, who has lost defender Ben Miller for the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, will be without midfielder Darius Laws tomorrow while James Hubbard is still ruled out by injury.

On the plus side centre half Mark Roper should be available after a holiday in Thailand and midfielders Liam Scopes and Tom Trevivian may return after injury.

James Buckle, who made his Woodbridge debut in midweek, could make his bow at home as he is not cup-tied after signing from Ipswich Wanderers.

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