Thetford Town will be looking to get 2015 off to the perfect start by earning a place in the last four of the Norfolk Senior Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).
The Brecklanders’ highlight of 2014 — a 1-0 triumph over Norwich City Under-21s — set up their home quarter-final against higher-league opposition Dereham Town.
A cup upset over the Ryman League Division One North play-off-chasers would leave them just one win from the final at Carrow Road, but first they must overcome struggling Ely City in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division tonight (7.45pm).
“We’ve been looking forward to all this over the Christmas period and start of the New Year,” said Scott, whose side will line up against former Thetford players Matt Howard and Dan Morphew. “Dereham are going to come here expecting to roll us over, but we have to be tight, compact and together as a side then break in numbers.
“Nothing was going right six-to-eight weeks ago, but on the back of our recent good form a cup victory would set us up for the rest of the season.”
The Brecklanders must overcome their recent tendency to concede goals late in games to earn victories over both Ely and Dereham, a habit which reared its ugly head at rock-bottom Diss on Saturday.
Thetford led 3-1 through goals from James Dean (two) and Halen Smith, but conceded twice late on to take their tally of dropped points in this manner to eight in a month.
They also conceded late levellers at Felixstowe and Walton United and Gorleston, as well as at home to Newmarket Town when they were 3-0 up.
“It’s almost like we press the panic button and get deeper and deeper,” said Scott. “Everybody expected us to win the Diss game and performance-wise we were very poor.
“But we got ourselves into a commanding lead and again we’ve thrown it away.”
As a result, Scott wants to add some more experience to his young side, who have guided them to seven points above the drop zone so far this campaign having been fortunate to survive the last two years.
“We have got to learn,” said Scott. “There are some young players out there who probably need some more-experienced heads around them who know how to close the game out.”
Flying teenage winger Ben Anderson (ankle) has not played since his man-of-the-match performance against Norwich that earned him a trial with the Sky Bet Championship Canaries.
Scott is hopeful the youngster may return this week and Mihails Propustins could be back after a festive break abroad, but Ian Fancett (work commitments) is a doubt.
Mildenhall Town’s run of three consecutive league victories under interim boss Dean Greygoose came to an end at the hands of high-flying local rivals Newmarket Town on Saturday.
Mark Webster and Luke Parkinson scored for the third-placed Jockeys to leave Hall ninth in the Premier Division table ahead of a trip to fourth-bottom FC Clacton tomorrow (3pm).
Walsham-le-Willows put six points between themselves and the relegation zone when overcoming Haverhill Rovers 2-1 on Saturday, courtesy of goals from Charlie Webb and Andrew Wood.
Paul Smith’s men do not have a game this week and return to action on January 10 when Brantham Athletic are set to visit Summer Road.