Former King’s Lynn Town defender Paul Cousins could make shock return to Wisbech Town

Former captain Paul Cousins could make a sensational return to Wisbech Town after Fenmen boss Steve Appleby put in a seven-day approach for the centre-back.

Appleby moved to re-sign Cousins who left Wisbech for fierce rivals King's Lynn Town last summer, after Stacy Cartwright was ruled out for the rest of the season. Defender Cartwright broke his nose in four places – weeks after an operation on it – and fractured his eye socket during Saturday's FA Vase Fourth Round draw with Dunston UTS.

Cousins, now plying his trade at Ridgeons Premier Division title-challengers Wroxham after being sacked by Lynn following an internal dispute, watched his former team-mates on Saturday.

Appleby said: 'I know this news won't go down well in some quarters but I have to do what I think is best for the team. Stacy's out for the season and Paul is a massive presence. His character on the pitch is something we've missed.'

If Cousins decides to rejoin Wisbech he will be cup-tied for any of their FA Vase games if they continue their run in the competition this season.

After leaving Lynn the powerful defender enjoyed a brief spell at Soham Town Rangers before joining the Yachtsmen. The former fans' favourite devastated supporters of his hometown club when he left to join Lynn – weeks after lifting Wisbech's first trophy in 16 years in May.

Wisbech will face a home tie against Bethnal Green United if they win their replay on Saturday. The London team are currently third in the Essex Senior League Premier Division.

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West Auckland drew the short straw, with an away tie at Whitley Bay, who are unbeaten in 29 consecutive Vase matches, winning the last three.

Fifth round draw: Tividale v Peterborough Northern Star, Shortwood United v Ashington, Staveley MW v Oadby Town, Billingham Synthonia or Runcorn Town v Bournemouth, Wisbech Town or Dunston UTS v Bethnal Green United, Whitley Bay v West Auckland Town, St Ives Town v Gresley or Three Bridges, Herne Bay v Larkhall Athletic.