Suffolk sides avoid each other
NEWMARKET Town and Bury Town have avoided each other in the last eight of the FA Vase.That was the good news to come from FA Headquarters in Soho yesterday as the two Ridgeons League Premier Division sides face differing tasks, with the Jockeys entertaining North West Counties Division One side Cammell Laird, while Bury travel to Northern Division Two side Crook Town.
By Mike Bacon
NEWMARKET Town and Bury Town have avoided each other in the last eight of the FA Vase.
That was the good news to come from FA Headquarters in Soho yesterday as the two Ridgeons League Premier Division sides face differing tasks, with the Jockeys entertaining North West Counties Division One side Cammell Laird, while Bury travel to Northern Division Two side Crook Town.
Newmarket, after Saturday's fantastic 4-3 extra-time win over former Vase winners Winchester City, now face the new favourites in the competition, Cammell Laird, from the Wirral.
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“At this stage you would love a tie you can win, but they are obviously all going to be tough,” Newmarket manager Chris Nunn said last night.
“They have a fantastic record and have only lost once from 20 games this season. They have got eight games in hand on the leaders and have even had six points deducted.
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“But we have gone to Winchester and won, so we will be right up for this one and, of course, we are at home, which is nice.”
The six-point deduction for Cammell was after a mix-up over player registration at the start of the season. Since then they have only lost 2-1 to current leaders Skelmersdale and beat Stone Dominoes 10-0 in a league match a few weeks ago.
On Saturday, however, they only just got past Kent side VCD 1-0 with a late goal.
“This season had a disastrous start for us with so many injuries,” Nunn added.
“On Saturday at Winchester, I can honestly say I had a full squad to choose from for the first time this season. At the start of the season we had poor crowds, but who can blame them, paying good money to watch us play so awful.
“But it's different now and we have three weeks to look forward to it.”
Newmarket won the Carlsberg performance of the round prize for their win at Winchester, with the FA Vase likely to make an appearance at Crown Meadow for the visit of Lowestoft, when the Jockeys gain their rewards.
Jockeys' chairman Allen Collen was delighted with that news and delighted to avoid Bury in the quarter-finals.
“The only draw we didn't want was Bury Town,” he said.
“You want to play a team from out of your league if you can and we didn't mind who we got - home or away - Bury apart.”
Richard Wilkins will already have made sure his young side forget about their victory over AFC Sudbury on Saturday and concentrate on this week's action.
However, in all honesty, the draw could have been tougher and a trip to Crook Town, near Durham, now awaits them.
Crook are the suprise packets of the competition so far and play at step six, the lowest-ranked side still left in the competition.
They play in Northern Division Two but currently sit mid-table with 10 wins from their 21 league games played. On Saturday, they won at Arnold Town, a team in the league above them, to progress into the last eight.
“It could have been worse, it could have been better,” Wilkins said.
“We had great support at Sudbury on Saturday and that helped, but obviously not so many are going to travel four hours towards Durham to support us, and understandably so. A home draw would have been nicer.
“But we will do our homework on them. I've been told they have a bit of money and have come through the leagues, but aren't doing as well so far this season.
“But we want to win the Vase, that's our aim.”
The eventual Vase winners receive £4,000.
Hillingdon Borough v Squires Gate, Crook Town v Bury Town, Nantwich Town or Buxton v Pickering Town, Newmarket Town v Cammell Laird. Matches to be played on Saturday, March 4.