Thetford and Great Yarmouth square off in FA Vase clash
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Monday's draw for the second round of the Buildbase FA Vase will feature at least one Norfolk team – as Thetford and Great Yarmouth face each other this afternoon.
Both have made impressive starts to their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division campaigns, Yarmouth after promotion to the Eastern Counties top flight and Thetford following three seasons battling relegation.
Joint Yarmouth boss Adam Mason is looking for his team to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to lower-level Harleston in the Norfolk Senior Cup but knows a trip to the sixth-placed Brecklanders will be tough.
'Thetford have started really well, they're well run and have got some excellent players,' Mason said.
'Cameron King in particular is someone we are aware of and someone we will have to suppress if we are to win the game.
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'But it's a cup game, both sides have got nothing to lose and the Vase prize fund has changed this year so that the losers get money as well, which is quite a good idea and something we had suggested in the past.'
Those changes to the prize fund guarantee £225 to the losing side and £675 for the winners at this stage, rising to £250 for the losers and £750 for the victors in the second round.
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Fit-again strikers Mitch Forbes and Chris Hall are both ready to return for the Bloaters after starting on the bench against Harleston, with both coming on and Forbes scoring. Right-back Lee Roots is also available again but skipper Robin Anderson is not expected to return, with Mason adding: 'Certainly the FA Vase is something that everyone looks forward to and we've got several boys who have played in it for a lot of years. Ady Ager is one of the names that comes to mind as he's one of the players who really gets the Vase mentality across to the younger players.'
Thetford boss Danny White is really pleased with the progress his team has made but is not getting carried away.
'It's going really well, I'm really enjoying it, the lads have been different class, all working hard,' he said.
'I've got the team I wanted now and as I've always said, judge me on the team I get together. So far it's going well but there's a long way to go and a lot of good teams in the Thurlow Nunn.
'Like Stanway, we went there and lost 1-0 to a team that are going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, and for them to be defending for their lives for most of the second half shows how far we've come – and to celebrate in the way they did at the end.'
Alex McIntosh is out for a month with ankle ligament damage and centre-back Connor Peacock is not available but midfielders George O'Mahoney and Elliott Smith are available again, with White adding: 'Yarmouth have come up and started really well, very similar to us really, so I'm expecting a really tough game and two good teams having a good go at each other.'
Gorleston are also in home action in the Vase and are facing a tough proposition in runaway Essex League Premier Division leaders Barking, who have won 13 of their 15 league games so far – scoring 49 goals.
Swaffham travel to United Counties League Premier Division leaders Peterborough Sports, who have won 13 of their 14 games – scoring a remarkable 57 goals!