Steve Appleby believes Wisbech Town can take over as top dogs in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

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Appleby watched Wroxham sweep all before them last season to follow the likes of Lowestoft, Needham Market and Leiston into the next level of the non-league pyramid.

But the Yachtsmen’s departure for Ryman League football has left something of a vacuum - and Appleby, who takes his team to Kirkley & Pakefield this afternoon, believes the Fenmen can fill it.

He said: “I said to the chairman (Barry Carter), ‘where do you want to go from here, because I know what I would like’, and to be fair he has backed me.

“The club wants to push on and the big thing is Wroxham have just gone up. I think the chance is there for someone to take that mantle.

“There is Dereham, there is Brantham, three or four teams can do it, and what we have built over the years is a solid base and now we have the quality I believe we are in with a fighting chance.

“There are no guarantees because any of those three or four could do it, but if we keep doing the things we are doing at the minute and show the attitude and application we did against Kettering (in the FA Cup), we have got a good chance.”

Kirkley boss Paul Tong, whose side are eighth, expects his young players to show no fear against an unbeaten Wisbech, who sit fifth.

“The club had a change of course and we are now trying to re-establish ourselves with a young side,” he said.

“The biggest problem with young players is consistency but we are getting there and all the players are committed and willing to learn.

“We will set out to have a right go at them. We tried to take the game to Walsham and we will do the same against Wisbech. We will be under pressure for periods of the game but we’ve all just got to do our jobs right”

Elsewhere, Great Yarmouth host Stowmaket in the First Division.

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