Thurlow Nunn League and FA Vase round-up

Felixstowe & Walton's Jordan Matthews

Felixstowe & Walton's Jordan Matthews - Credit: Photo:Stan Baston

Felixstowe & Walton United start their FA Vase adventure on Saturday (Oct 22) having been exempt from the qualifying stages, based on their top-four league finish last season.

The club does not have a great pedigree in the competition and they will want to make their mark this year and better their second round appearance in 2011.

Their opponents are Thurlow Nunn Division One side Haverhill Borough, who knocked out their ground-share partners, Premier Division Haverhill Rovers in the Preliminary Round.

Borough sit in seventh place in Division One, but with just one defeat in 11 league games, and games in hand over all but one of the sides above them, that position looks a false one.

Kevin O’Donnell knows what his side is capable of after their FA Cup run saw them overcome National League side Bishop’s Stortford and Ryman League Tilbury on the way.

The Seasiders will also have home advantage for the first time in four seasons, having been knocked out at the first hurdle away from home in the last three.

This is Borough’s fourth season in the competition and they have never progressed beyond the First Round, so one of the two clubs will be rewriting the record books by tomorrow evening or following any replay.

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The Seasiders are buoyed by their midweek win when they hit four goals without reply against Long Melford at Stoneylands in the Suffolk Premier Cup, Jordan Matthews, Craig Jennings, Scott Chaplin and Kyran Andrews on the scoresheet.

As for Haverhill Borough, they bowed out of the First Division knock-out cup on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to Team Bury, although they are still in the Suffolk Senior Cup.

In the only other local Vase tie, Walsham-le-Willows host Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Tring, who currently sit sixth in their respective division.

Both clubs have come through qualifying and were taken to replays in the first qualifying round.

Home advantage could be a major factor in this game, and Walsham will be looking to win at the first attempt rather than making the trip to Hertfordshire for a replay.

In the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, Hadleigh host league leaders Mildenhall Town.

They will be looking to find the kind of determination they produced last Saturday at the Goldstar Ground rather than their midweek showing at the New Croft when they lost 4-0 in the Premier Cup.

Mildenhall, with just one league defeat so far, sit top on goal difference from Stanway but with three games in hand will be looking to use one of those up with a positive result while Stanway play in the Vase.

Ipswich Wanderers have the opportunity to put some points on the board and possibly move into the top half of the table when they host bottom club FC Clacton, who have yet to pick up a point after 15 games.

Clacton’s goal difference is minus 58 and should give Shane Wardley’s side the opportunity to improve on their own negative goal difference.

Long Melford host Brantham, who have lost just once in their last five league games and picked up maximum points on their last two away trips, both by big scores.

In the only other two Premier Division fixtures Kirkley & Pakefield host Newmarket, while Haverhill Rovers are at home to Fakenham.

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