Three teams with their sights firmly fixed on FA Vase glory

HAPPY MEMORIES: Max Melanson, who scored on Friday, pictured in action for Thetford Town during one of their three home FA Vase victories last season
HAPPY MEMORIES: Max Melanson, who scored on Friday, pictured in action for Thetford Town during one of their three home FA Vase victories last season
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Stowmarket Town, Thetford Town and Walsham-le-Willows all take a break from league action this weekend to concentrate on the FA Vase.

The road to Wembley is a long one, but there is prize money to be picked up along the way, and victory in second qualifying round ties tomorrow will earn the winning clubs £725, while the losers get £250.

Two of the teams, Stowmarket Town and Thetford Town, have home ties, with Walsham-le-Willows having to travel.

Thetford, who were beaten 2-1 in the league by Wroxham last Friday, with Max Melanson having scored at Wroxham, are home to Oakham United from the United Counties League tomorrow (3pm).

Player-manager Danny White took his side out for a meal this week, and hopes to be rewarded with a good performance on home turf as the Brecklanders look to re-create last season’s memorable run, which ended in the second round, four games in, at Hoddesdon Town.

Thetford have good form at home in the FA Vase, winning all three of their ties at Mundford Road last season, against Framlingham Town (4-3), Downham Town (2-0) and Great Yarmouth Town (2-1).

Stowmarket Town, who beat Histon 2-0 at the weekend, with Josh Mayhew heading them into the lead in the first half before Billy Clarke doubled their advantage after the break, are due to host Essex Senior League Enfield 1893 at Greens Meadow tomorrow (3pm).

It will be the first time the Old Gold and Blacks have played on their home turf this season, with the pitch having undergone extensive relaying and drainage work over the summer.

Walsham, who were beaten 5-0 at Godmanchester Rovers at the weekend, visit Essex Senior League opponents Basildon United (3pm).

Prior to Wednesday night’s league match against Wroxham, Walsham had a minute’s applause in tribute to Thurston rugby player Josh Gilbert who collapsed and died playing for the club at Hadleigh last Saturday.

They also decided to change it to a ‘pay what you want’ fixture with donations to charity in Josh’s memory.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw with the club Twitter account posting: “Walsham 2, Wroxham 2 the final score. The real winner was human spirit with a fantastic turn out for Josh Gilbert. .”

Meanwhile, in the Thurlow Nunn League there is a basement battle tomorrow when Team Bury host Steve Foley’s young Needham Market Reserves side at Ram Meadow (3pm).

Team Bury are second from bottom in the First Division, with Needham holding up the foot of the table.

Team Bury were beaten 6-0 by Norwich CBS on Tuesday night, having lost 3-2 to Holland FC on Saturday.

Needham Market Reserves were also on the receiving end from Norwich CBS, losing 7-4 there on Saturday. But they made league progress on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory at Framlingham Town.