Appleford relishing chance to improve promotion prospects

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Christian Appleford is relishing a top of the table clash with Wisbech Town tomorrow (3pm) as Mildenhall Town set their sights on promotion.

The Recreation Way outfit have enjoyed an impressive campaign, claiming 12 wins out of 15, including Saturday’s 3-0 victory over FC Clacton, taking them to the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, where they hold a six-point lead over tomorrow’s opponents.

Mildenhall are set to include Dan Hitching among their squad for the match and Appleford, who revealed that the club are preparing to apply for promotion to the Ryman League before the deadline on December 31, believes these are the encounters which everyone should look forward to.

“It is a very exciting game and one that I would hope every player would look forward to being involved in and enjoy the occasion,” he said.

“I can’t complain at the moment because I am very pleased with how things are going.

“Tomorrow is a chance once again for us to show our character in what could be a make or break period for the club.

“We know they are a good side and won’t underestimate them.

“But it is a great chance for us to stretch the gap at the top of the table and we know if we play to our ability then we are confident of victory.”

Meanwhile, for Thetford Town manager Mark Scott the next five days present a chance to try and stabilise a difficult period for the Brecklanders.

The past week has seen Portuguese duo Bruno Tavares and Valta Rocha leave the club to join league rivals Diss Town, adding to the high-profile summer departures of Matt Dixon, Matt Howard and Sean O’Donnell.

However, Scott has been handed a boost with the news that captain Luke Bailey has decided to snub a trio of approaches to stay at Mundford Road, while Tangerines winger Sam Bryant could be set to arrive from Diss.

Thetford, who are on a three-match winless run, are without a game until their Norfolk Senior Cup fourth round encounter at home to King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday (7.45pm), giving a resolute Scott time to rebuild.

“Things seem to be one step forward and two back at the moment,” he conceded.

“It has been very disheartening to lose Bruno and Rocha and it is a bit a kick in the teeth.

“However I am delighted that Luke Bailey has decided to stay, which is a huge boost.

“He is a real leader and hopefully that will send out a message and inspire others to do the same.

“Form isn’t great at the moment, but we are certainly no push-overs and will remain up for the fight.

“Whatever happens, we will remain committed and will always aim to be competitive.”

One of three sides who were in for Bailey, Walsham-le-Willows, will be looking to extend a winning run, when they welcome Hadleigh United tomorrow (3pm).

Paul Smith’s charges have clinched three consecutive victories in the league, scoring 10 goals in the process and will be looking to respond from a 5-1 defeat to Ipswich Town in the Suffolk Premier Cup.

“Things are going really well in the league and if we can beat those around us then who knows where we will end up,” he said.

“We seemed to have strengthened up at the back and started scoring more, which will always give you a chance of picking up points.

“Hadleigh have beaten us three times this season but hopefully we can get over that and keep this good run going.”

Elsewhere, in the First Division, Team Bury will be hoping for an upturn in fortune as they prepare to travel to Swaffham Town tomorrow (3pm).

Ross Wilding’s side are currently enduring a torrid run of form which has seen them lose their last three games in all competitions,.

That run included elimination from the Suffolk Senior Cup after a 2-1 second round defeat away at Corton on Saturday, in which Liam Wales grabbed a consolation for the Ram Meadow outfit.

Wilding be hoping his side can turn the form guide on its head tomorrow against Swaffham, currently in fourth, before another tricky tie away at high flying Braintree Town Reserves on Wednesday (7.45pm).

Another side who will be looking to get on the winning trail are league rivals Stowmarket Town.

Shane Austin’s side ended a 14-game winless run with victory over Cornard United, but it proved a false dawn as goals from James Fisher and Ben Licence were not enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat at Downham Town last week.

They will hope to put that behind them at Ipswich Wanderers tomorrow (3pm).