King’s Lynn hit the FA Vase trail
King's Lynn boss Gary Setchell is confident Town's top form on the road can tip the balance in a heavyweight FA Vase second round tie today at Gresley (3pm).
Setchell insists both clubs are rightly among the favourites to reach Wembley but Lynn travel west after an eighth consecutive UCL Premier Division away win.
'I honestly believe this could be a quarter-final tie. They are right up there,' he said. 'I would put them in that bracket of the top 15, top 20 teams who started out in this competition.
'I believe we are in the same category and both of us rightly feel we are two clubs who could get to the final. They are like us in the sense they are well supported for the level they are at. They got dropped two divisions but still get decent support. It will be a hard game but for me it's about concentrating on what we do. If we manage that then I feel we have a good chance.
'Look at last season's run in the competition. We had to go to places like Norton, Dereham and Beckenham so we've been there, done it and got the t-shirt. We'll try to win the game, we won't be going with the mindset of playing for a draw after 120 minutes. If the lads give me everything they've got – like the last four or five weeks – I can have no complaints.'
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Setchell is backing influential wide player Jamie Thurlbourne to again sparkle after his impressive midweek display against Blackstones.
'Since he had his hamstring injury, to be fair to the boy, he has got himself in the gym, he has lost weight, he has got that half a yard and he is gradually getting back to his best,' said Setchell. 'That is superb for King's Lynn. He is an exceptional player on his day. We'll need him and he is now putting in the dedication that is required. At the start of the season he was too heavy. He'd obviously had a good summer and he came back out of nick; then just as he got going he pulled a hamstring and was out for six weeks. He is one of those lads if he is not active he will put on weight, but the lad has worked hard in training. He's never going to lose that left foot, which is pivotal to us.'
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Setchell insists front pair Robbie Harris and Danny Beaumont can soften the blow of Jack Defty's injury absence against the Midland Alliance outfit. Defty has been ruled out for the rest of this month with knee ligament damage.
'I was going to try and get someone in on loan and we worked hard in that direction but you can't play loan players in the FA Vase,' he said. 'We then have the Norfolk Senior Cup and the League Cup after that and are you going to bring in someone and pay them for those games? We've made enquiries and they might come back to us but I thought the way Beaumont and Harris played the other night they would be a handful for any defence.'
Midfielder Danny White (ankle) is a major doubt but defender Stuart Wall (knee) will return to the squad if he suffers no reaction to a midweek training session.
Meanwhile Wisbech Town manager Steve Appleby, whose team moved up to third place in the Premier Division with a 5-0 win at Haverhill on Tuesday, sees his side's Vase trip to Racing Club Warwick, who are mid-table in the Midland Combination Premier Division, as a 'welcome distraction'.
'On paper everyone expects us to win but you've only got to look at their result in the last round,' he said. 'They beat Stratford 4-0 – and I saw Stratford at King's Lynn recently when they were very unlucky to lose 3-2, so that's the mark of what we're up against.
'However, we're on a great roll at the moment, winning 10 of 11 games having drawn the other one. So confidence is high.'