There is no easy ride in Vase, insists Wroxham boss

Jonathan RedheadWroxham manager David Batch insists his side have not got it easy after avoiding FA Vase favourites Whitley Bay in yesterday's the semi-final draw. The Yachtsmen's reward for their excellent victory at Needham Market on Saturday is a two-legged last four clash with Sussex County Football League side Whitehawk FC.Jonathan Redhead

Wroxham manager David Batch insists his side have not got it easy after avoiding FA Vase favourites Whitley Bay in yesterday's the semi-final draw.

The Yachtsmen's reward for their excellent victory at Needham Market on Saturday is a two-legged last four clash with Sussex County Football League side Whitehawk FC.

Wroxham travel to face Whitehawk, managed by former West Ham United defender George Parris, on Saturday, March 27, before hosting the Sussex outfit at Trafford Park a week later on Saturday, April 3.

And despite missing current Vase holders Bay, who will play either Barwell or Norton & Stockton Ancients in the other semi-final, Batch says it would be a mistake to believe a clash with the side from the south coast, would be more simple.


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'A lot of people have suggested it was good to avoid Whitley Bay who seem get the favourites' tag, but saying that we've beaten the third favourites and we've beaten the second favourites so I see no reason why we weren't good enough to do that as well,' Batch said.

'However, I think the other teams are decent. The team we've got have only lost three leagues all season and are second in their league.

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'We're not going to get any easy rides at this stage of the competition and I think we'd be making a huge mistake if we considered that we had and easier route to the final, because we haven't got Whitley Bay.

'It's going to be a hard couple of matches. It's often not necessarily about football, but about the mental side as well because of the stage of the competition we're at so we need to deal with it.

'We only know about Whitehawk what you can see online. But clearly, every other game we've played this season we've had a lot of knowledge about the opposition and that process and building that knowledge starts again now.'

The two-legged nature of the semi-finals adds another ingredient to the competition, but the Yachtsmen's boss says it probably means the best side will go through.

'What it does do is give you a chance, it does make it a bit more likely that the best team wins,' Batch said.

'It also means that if there is a bad day, it's much more likely you could get it back again. That can work for you and against you. 'We just need to be on our mettle both matches basically.

'We've got where we are in this competition by being good at times in this competition, by being dogged most of the time in this competition and by being the best prepared side in every single match we've played.

'And we've got to continue in that vein, it's as simple as that.

'We set out our stall at the start of the season when I came to the football club.

'I didn't promise anything to anybody other than the fact we would be the most professional, most prepared side at this level and we have been so far, and that has been enough, particularly in this competition a couple of times, to see us through.

'We need to keep that going because while it's a lovely occasion and a lovely thing to do and a lovely thing to be in, I don't want it to stop and nor do any of the players.'

t FACTFILE

Name: Whitehawk FC

Founded: 1945

Location: Suburb of Brighton, east Sussex.

Manager: George Parris (Played for West Ham 1982-1993) Played as midfielder/defender

Ground: The Enclosed Ground

League: Sussex County Football League (currently 2nd).

FA Vase Run

1st qualifying round: bt Littlehampton (h) 2-1

2nd qualifying round: bt Lingfield (h) 3-1

1st round: bt East Grinstead (a) 5-0

2nd round: bt Fareham Town 3-2 aet (h)

3rd round: bt Larkhall Athletic (a) 2-0

4th round: beat Bristol Manor Farm (a) 3-1

5th round: drew Marske Utd (h) 1-1 aet.

5th round replay: bt Marske (a) 3-2

Quarter-finals: beat Gresley (a) 3-1

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