Blues target title after Vase exit

Only one prize will console Micky Chapman after Lowestoft Town's dreams of FA Vase glory were dashed. Their joint manager wants them to be crowned Ridgeons Football League Premier Division champions.

Only one prize will console Micky Chapman after Lowestoft Town's dreams of FA Vase glory were dashed. Their joint manager wants them to be crowned Ridgeons Football League Premier Division champions. The Blues lost 3-1 to Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics in Saturday's fourth round of the national competition, which also involved five other Suffolk sides. Needham Market also bowed out, by 6-3 to Nantwich after extra time, but Bury Town and Mildenhall won through to the last 16, respectively by 2-0 at Brockenhurst and 3-1 (Neal Docking, Tom Pell and Gareth Simpson) at Dorking. AFC Sudbury and Newmarket face replays after drawing, respectively 1-1 (David Head) with Bedlington Terriers and 2-2 with Welwyn Garden City.

Chapman was bitterly disappointed to go out of a competition he considers “the equivalent of the FA Cup for a club like us”.

But he's convinced the Blues are capable of bouncing back and winning the Ridgeons League crown.

“Ady Gallagher (fellow joint manager) and I believe in the players we have at Crown Meadow,” he said.


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“If we can get our games right individually, and play well collectively, we can beat anyone at our level.”

Lowestoft are currently fourth in the table, 10 points behind leaders Sudbury with three games in hand and seven points behind second-placed Needham Market with one game in hand.

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Wisbech Town are sixth after beating Halstead 7-1 at Fenland Park, where Stuart Cobb (2), Liam Nimmo (2), Liam Harrold, Darren Jimson and Andy Lodge were their scorers.

“We've set ourselves a target of 12 points from four games and we are halfway there,” said Wisbech manager Dick Creasey.

“Now I am bringing in two new players, who will be playing next week, and we will continue to move up the table.”

Wroxham are eighth after a goalless draw at Trafford Park with Diss Town, who are 10th.

“It was a poor game, but, after our recent results, we needed to get something out of the game,” reflected Diss manager Robert Fleck.

“It was important to keep a clean sheet. Now we have to make sure the goals come in future games.”

Dereham Town are 11th after a 1-1 (Danny Wright) draw at Plantation Park with second from bottom Norwich United, for whom Jamie Hunton headed a late equaliser.

King's Lynn Reserves are 12th after drawing 1-1 with Harwich at The Walks, where 15-year-old Dominic Dwyer was their marksman.

Kirkley are 17th after ending a nine-match losing sequence with a 1-0 (Carl Chenery) win at seventh-placed Leiston.

Swaffham Town dropped two precious points in the Division One promotion race when they could only draw 2-2 (Kevin Leggett 2) with bottom team Hadleigh, who led 2-0 at one stage.

The Pedlars stay second, but have played at least five matches more than any of their main rivals.

Stanway Rovers are seven points clear at the top after a 1-0 win over Fakenham Town, who are 11th in the table.

Gorleston are 14th after a 3-1 (Jordan Broadbent) defeat by Haverhill, with Downham Town 18th after losing 3-1 to Tiptree.

Thetford Town, who drew 2-2 with Stowmarket, are 19th, just above Yarmouth Town, who lost 2-0 to Saffron Walden at Wellesley Road.

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