Tricky first hurdle facing holders

HOLDERS Stowmarket Town face a stiff first hurdle in their defence of the Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup with a delayed tie against Debenham Leisure Centre tomorrow.

By Elvin King

HOLDERS Stowmarket Town face a stiff first hurdle in their defence of the Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup with a delayed tie against Debenham Leisure Centre tomorrow.

Mel Aldis, a former Stowmarket manager, has led Debenham to an unbeaten start in the First Division of the Ridgeons League and to an exciting run in the FA Cup.

They will start favourites against Dave Hubbick's Stowmarket, who have managed just two victories in 11 league matches.


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Hubbick may have one trump card in his squad with 33-year-old ace marksman Glen Driver having recently joined from Grundisburgh.

The former Leiston manager said today: “I am desperate to get back into management. I miss the buzz.

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“Hopefully playing for Stowmarket will keep my name in the forefront and I would like to score as many goals as I can.”

Driver missed last weekend's game because of illness but will be back tomorrow.

“I have known Dave Hubbick for a long while, and Stowmarket get the ball down and try and play. They create a lot of chances and I would like to be on the end of them.

“If I stay the whole season I would target 20 goals, although we know that Debenham offer us a stiff task tomorrow.”

Driver was in the Grundisburgh squad that lost to Stowmarket at Portman Road in last season's final when the Ridgeons League club enjoyed its best moment in what has generally been a pretty gloomy last few years.

In the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League Woodbridge Town entertain current title favourites Needham Market.

With Wroxham losing in midweek, Needham are two points behind the leaders with three games in hand.

They may well find it tough to extend their 100 per cent start to the season at Notcutt's Park against Mick Stockwell's side that last weekend became the first team to score five in a competitive fixture at Wroxham since March 1991.

The game ended 5-5 after Woodbridge were pegged back after being 4-1 ahead. Paul Berry, who missed the match through illness, returned to score a well-taken hat-trick in the 7-2 Churchman Cup victory against Grundisburgh on Tuesday.

Needham manager Danny Laws said: “The match will have a derby feel to it. Woodbridge are a free-scoring side and we will need to defend well.”

Needham skipper Mark Bailey, who graced Notcutt's Park for many seasons prior to his move to the Bloomfields outfit, will be buoyed up more than most.

Needham have a full squad, with the exception of Scott Wark who is on loan at Long Melford.

Former Ipswich Athletic midfielder Neil Calver has been placed on the AFC Sudbury transfer list at his own request.

This will create interest in a player who joined Ryman League Sudbury in 2003 and clocked up 205 appearances, scoring 46 goals.

Sudbury manager Mark Morsley said: “I think Neil will sign for a Ridgeons League side and be the best midfielder in the league.”

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