Local round-up: Why Yarmouth are loving Stevenage help; Dereham on the road; Ang Com top-four clash
PUBLISHED: 18:55 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 18:55 01 February 2019
Loans are what friends are for, as Great Yarmouth are proving – that, and a look at the rest of the weekend action, by CHRIS LAKEY
Great Yarmouth Town have signed three more Stevenage Town youngsters on work experience terms – and two of them could go straight into the squad for the home clash with Brantham Athletic.
The League Two outfit recently allowed midfielder Dylan Switters and striker Harry Draper to join the Bloaters and the 17-year-olds both made big impacts at The Wellesley, helping the club pull away from the foot of the Premier Division table.
The pair have now moved on to a higher level, Switters at King’s Langley and Draper at Hitchin Town, but they have been replaced by three more young hopefuls.
Defender Theo Sackey-Mensah, midfielder Jack Smith and striker Drilon Krasniqi have all signed for the Bloaters on similar terms, although league rules dictate only two can be fielded in any one game.
Joint managers Adam Mason and Martyn Sinclair have also signed Anglian Combination trio Payton Swatman and Charlie Blake (Wymondham Town) and Shaun Grieveson (Norwich Ceyms) on dual registration forms - so there will be no shortage of options in the weeks ahead as they plot a course away from the relegation positions.
“We have a good relationship with Stevenage and are grateful to them for allowing some of their young players to come here and gain experience of men’s football,” said Mason. “Harry and Dylan did a great job for us and hopefully these lads will do the same.”
Thetford Town will be hoping to build on a confidence-boosting 5-0 win at Wymondham in the Norfolk Senior Cup last weekend when they host Norwich United. Danny White’s Thetford have found consistent form hard to come by, but it’s three wins a row now.
United’s form has deserted them – a Boxing Day win at Wroxham looked to have been a corner turned, but since then they have won only once in five games and last weekend their Senior Cup hopes were ended at Mattishall.
Wroxham are sixth and could jump a few places, if they beat visiting FC Clacton – and other results go their way. Walsham le Willows are without a game, but they will be keeping an eye on the progress of Woodbridge at Haverhill Rovers and Stowmarket at Ely City – teams within striking range.
Kirkley & Pakefield are at home to Whitton United while Gorleston will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointment of losing a three-goal lead at Haverhill Rovers when they host Long Melford.
Dereham travel to mid-table Basildon on the back of a three-game unbeaten run.
A win would lift them off the bottom of the table, with Romford inactive, although the Essex side beat them 3-0 at Aldiss Park in September.
The Magpies gained another useful point at Coggeshall last week and could easily have taken all three. Manager Adam Gusterson believes that while confidence is high, the next few games are vital.
“I thought we were excellent at Coggeshall and showed all the battling qualities we are going to need to get us out of the position we currently find ourselves in,” he said. “It’s been a positive start for us as a group and we have gained points in games against Aveley and Coggeshall which the boys have worked extremely hard to earn. We’ve not stumbled across those results and have more than matched two of the division’s top sides. We now embark on a run of fixtures which will go a long way to defining our season and I feel we go into the first of these on Saturday, at Basildon, with real confidence and believe we can get another positive result.”
The injured Jamie Forshaw is expected to be out for around two weeks, Karol Wengrzik returns to the squad, having recovered from a slight ankle problem, but Jay Eastoe-Smith and Sam Borrer are unavailable due to work commitments.
Two of the top four clash as leaders Caister host fourth-placed Norwich Ceyms.
After weeks of close-quarter battles, Caister have moved three points clear of Long Stratton and are nine clear of Ceyms and Sheringham. Stratton were beaten at Waveney last week, so will be hoping to get back to winning ways at bottom side Norwich United Under-21s, who are coming off their first win of the season, after beating Bradenham Wanderers. Sheringham are away to Waveney.
Norfolk Senior Cup draw
Semi-finals: Dereham v Swaffham (February 27), Thetford v Mattishall (March 5). Both games to be played at the FDC,