Local clubs set off in search of FA Cup glory

Action from the Norwich United's clash with Saffron Walden (red).Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Action from the Norwich United's clash with Saffron Walden (red).Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The new season may be barely a week old, but it's already time to sprinkle a little FA Cup magic over local clubs

Around the country, 368 clubs will be hoping to make it past the extra preliminary round.

From Wisbech in the west, across to Great Yarmouth in the east, the focus is on a place in the preliminary round – and the cheque for £1,500 that goes with winning.

The matches that matter locally feature six Norfolk teams and two from just over the borders.

The county derby is at The Wellesley, where Thurlow Nunn First Division Great Yarmouth Town entertain Premier League champions Norwich United.

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The Bloaters got their domestic campaign off to a winning start last weekend, at Braintree Town, but Damien Hilton's team have already signalled their intent with two victories in the opening week – beating Saffron Walden 2-0 and then winning by the same scoreline at Gorleston in midweek.

Yarmouth have been boosted by the return of midfielder Connor Deeks to the club after his trial with Lowestoft Town.

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The winners face a trip to St Ives for a game which will be played on Sunday, August 30, due to groundsharing issues with Cambridge City.

There is another all-Norfolk tie at Shoemakers lane, where Swaffham Town entertain struggling Thetford Town.

The Pedlars are back in the Thurlow Nunn top flight after promotion, opening with a draw and a defeat, but Thetford's opening couldn't have been much worse. After losing 1-0 at Whitton last weekend, they were thumped 8-0 at Godmanchester Rovers on Wednesday.

Gorleston go to Yaxley, near Peterborough, for the first ever meeting between the two sides, and new boss Ricci Butler won't be too disheartened at the manner of the defeat by Norwich United, with his team performing well enough to suggest that good things are just around the corner.

Kirkley & Pakefield, with four points from their opening two games, travel to Hertford Town, who have started their Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division season with two wins, the second a 6-2 home thumping.

Fakenham Town, pointless after defeats at Stanway and Mildenhall, have a home game against Huntingdon Town, of the United Counties League.

The Ghosts will fancy their chances against a side which has lost 3-0 and 7-2 this week.

Fellow UCL side Wisbech Town are in a different position, the Cambridgeshire side having won two out of two. They entertain Diss Town, back in the Thurlow Nunn First Division following relegation. The Tangerines opened their campaign with a 2-0 home win over Dereham Town Reserves.

In the next round, the winners will be joined by Dereham Town and Wroxham. The latter host the winners of the Fakenham v Huntingdon tie while Dereham visit either Deeping Rangers or Boston.

King's Lynn Town enter the competition at the first qualifying round stage on September 12 while Lowestoft Town arrive at the second qualifying round stage (September 26).

For those dreaming of reaching the first round proper on November 7, today is the start of a long haul. The winners have to negotiate their way through the preliminary round on August 29 – and then another four qualifying rounds.

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