Eastern Counties One leaders West Norfolk not taking Junior Vase opponents lightly
Greene King Eastern Counties Division One table-toppers West Norfolk will take nothing for granted when they host struggling Writtle Wanderers tomorrow.
Wests, who have won all five of their league matches this term, begin their Junior Vase quest with a home clash against the same-level Essex (Canterbury Jack) League One basement boys from near Chelmsford.
But despite their opposite starts to the campaign, Nigel Richardson insists his troops won't be underestimating their visitors to Gatehouse Lane.
The Wests boss said: 'Cup games are always important to us. We'd like to have a good cup run. The league is our number one priority but everyone at the club would like to have a nice big away day out in a national competition.
'It's not a hindrance to have a cup game. It gives us a chance to look at one or two fringe players. But we will definitely still be fielding a strong side. We've just got more strength in depth this season than we have before.
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'You can't read too much into their place in the table. They've had some close results. It's hard to judge how a season is going at this stage. We usually don't start seasons well and we get stronger towards the middle and the end of the it. You can't read too much into things and to be fair we don't look too much at the standings before any match. We try and worry about our own thing.'
The North Wootton outfit's own game has been in rude health this term, typified by the weekend's 65-12 drubbing of Crusaders which sent the league leaders six points clear of Ely – a side they have already beaten this term.
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But captain Lawrence Savage will miss Wanderers' arrival. Vice-captain Jamie Williamson will be stand-in skipper for the first round tie.
'I'm over the moon to be honest with our start,' said Richardson. 'We're grinding out the results even when we've not been playing well or with the style that we like to try and impose. We've got more of a plan this season than just throwing it out wide.
'We can mix it up a bit and we've got more strength in our defence. But we certainly don't want to get too excited too quickly.'
Swaffham, who registered their third win in a row at Mersea Island at the weekend, are not in the Vase so will send a mixed side to Dereham for a friendly.