FA Vase/Thurlow Nunn League preview: Friendship is put to one side as Thetford Town host Ely City
- Credit: Archant
Friends Mark Scott and Brady Stone will become rivals as the FA Vase's road to Wembley begins.
The managerial duo will lock horns for at least 90 minutes when Thetford Town host their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division counterparts Ely City in the first qualifying round. While Scott's Town have enjoyed a decent start to the new term, Stone's side have lost all six of their league matches.
And although the boss known as 'Scotty' expects things will improve for his opposite number, he hopes to heap more misery on the Robins this afternoon.
The Brecklanders boss said on Twitter that he was 'looking forward to catching up with an old friend' in the shape of the Ely's boss. He added that while Stone 'obviously will things around' he hoped he wouldn't 'in the next two games'.
If the clubs can't be separated at the end of normal time today at Mundford Road they will be forced to replay in midweek – just days before they meet again in league action next Saturday.
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Stone, a former King's Lynn defender, replied and said Thetford had enjoyed a 'great win' in midweek (3-0 v Godmanchester) but was sure it was 'his round this time'. The victorious outfit will progress into the second qualifying round of the competition for teams at Steps Five and Six of the semi-professional pyramid on October 4 as well as pocketing £600 prize money.
There is another all-Premier Division tie with Kirkley & Pakefield welcoming Diss Town. The Royals – who were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wisbech Town last weekend – go into the clash as favourites with the Tangerines having lost all seven of their matches so far.
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In-form First Division outfit Swaffham Town have enjoyed a 100pc start to their league programme. But they'll have to certainly be at their best if they are to get anything from a daunting trip to higher-level Yaxley. The United Counties League (UCL) Premier Division outfit, managed by former March Town United boss Brett Whaley, sit second in the early-term standings having won four and drawn one of their opening six matches.
Back to Thurlow Nunn action, in the top flight Fakenham Town will look to continue their impressive opening following promotion when they visit Brantham Athletic. Gorleston have belied the loss of several key players to Wroxham and are among the early frontrunners. They make the long trip to Felixstowe & Walton United. Elsewhere, the equally impressive Norwich United, still in the FA Cup, host Ipswich Wanderers in a 'mini East Anglian Derby'.
In the second tier Dereham Town Reserves travel to Debenham LC, Great Yarmouth Town welcome Braintree Town while King's Lynn Town Reserves visit Needham Market's second string.
In the First Division Knockout Cup preliminary round Downham Town entertain Leiston Reserves. The winners will travel to Halstead Town.