Gorleston, Yarmouth, Blofield and Caister battle for Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final places
All signs point towards Carrow Road tomorrow as a crop of local teams look to book their places in the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-finals.
They will be spearheaded by cup holders Gorleston, as Stuart Larter's men begin their bid to move a step closer to the scene of one of their finest recent triumphs when they host Damian Hilton's Norwich United – a side struggling to achieve positive results in the immediate post Paul Chick era, with seven defeats, a win and a draw in their last nine games.
The Greens go into the game against their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division rivals in good spirits after a run of four wins, a draw and one defeat in the last six games. With Larter on holiday, Kevin Gook is set to boss the team again, buoyed by a 6-1 win over CRC, which saw Bradley Hough net a hat-trick.
The Greens have beaten the Planters twice this season in the league. Four goals from Ally McKenna helped them to a 5-1 victory at Emerald Park in August, then the Greens won 2-1 at Plantation Park to ruin Hilton's first game in charge last month.
Gorleston will be without Jack Garrod, who has scored three goals in their last three games, after he picked up an injury against CRC. Gary Williams and Carl Poppy are also likely to be missing through injury.
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Meanwhile at the Wellesley, manager Mike Derbyshire prepares to welcome a friend turned footballing foe, as Richard Daniels brings his Diss side to Town. The duo worked together at Gorleston until Derbyshire took up the Bloaters hot-seat last September and have remained in touch throughout their various trials and tribulations.
But Derbyshire warned that the old pals act will be put firmly to one side, at least for the duration of the game. Since leaving Emerald Park as the director of football last month, Daniels has suffered three defeats in the Diss hotseat – and Derybyshire hopes the trend continues, as rejuvenated Town aim to extend a run which has brought six wins and two draws in the last 11 games. 'We will be the underdogs because Diss are a Premier Division side.
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They have made nine new signings and there could be more to come. We will be big underdogs, we know that, but we will certainly give them a game. We don't want to be a springboard for Diss to go on and move forward, as much as I want to see Richard do well.
'Perhaps the Senior Cup, now they are out of the FA Vase, will be a target for them.
He added: 'I stay in touch with Richard all the time but the friendship goes to one side for two hours or so on Saturday. We are going quite well in the league and to progress in the Senior Cup would be great.'
Blofield, who ominously registered their second consecutive 7-0 win at the weekend as the hammered rock bottom Hempnall, are sure to face a stiffer test, when they travel to Sterry Cup archrivals Cromer.
The competition's surprise packages Caister, sole survivors from Anglian Combination Division One, face a trip to Spixworth, third placed in the top flight.
But Adam Mason and David Thompson's side, who have already beaten higher-ranked Wroxham Reserves and Sheringham in cup action and pushed Acle hard before losing a recent Mummery Cup quarter-final derby 5-3, will be relishing the chance to cause another upset. 'It's a tie we feel we are capable of winning,' said Mason.