Thurlow Nunn League preview: Progress in the FA Vase is up for grabs for four of our clubs

Fakenham manger Wayne Anderson, left, and coach Neil Jarvis will be looking to mastermind a Ghosts'

Fakenham manger Wayne Anderson, left, and coach Neil Jarvis will be looking to mastermind a Ghosts' win in the FA Vase this afternoon. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Fakenham Town kick off their FA Vase campaign this afternoon with the visit of Mildenhall Town – and a quick chance to put right an earlier league defeat.

Mildenhall left Clipbush Park with all three Thurlow Nunn Premier Division points last month, but they return to Norfolk to face a Ghosts team looking to make amends for that 1-0 loss. Wayne Anderson's players go into the second qualifying round tie on the back of Saturday's 0-0 draw at Wivenhoe Town and the previous Wednesday's 2-1 win at home to Thetford Town, leaving the manager feeling positive.

Anderson said: 'We were unlucky in the league game and had some good opportunities to finish that one off, but chances are rare at this level and if you get them you have to take them otherwise you can quickly find the ball is in the back of your net.

'But we know we are capable of beating Mildenhall and also our squad is getting stronger now.

'We have got Kyle Plumb coming back, Lee Day will be back in a couple of weeks too and Ashley Jarvis is getting minutes for the first team, plus Alex Walpole should be in the squad on Saturday.


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'We have got plenty of bodies to choose from so we will go out there, give it our all, and hopefully we will get through to the next round.'

Definitely missing is 17-year-old midfielder Dion Frary, who scored both of the goals in the victory over Thetford, as he is on duty with Norfolk Under-18s – where he is joined by two of his Fakenham colleagues, striker Connor Walker and left-back Ben Calvert.

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Kirkley & Pakefield and Great Yarmouth Town can also enjoy home advantage as they look to extend their runs in the national non-league competition for teams at Step Five and Six of the semi-professional pyramid.

The Royals welcome same-league Newmarket while Yarmouth entertain United Counties League (UCL) Premier Division Boston Town.

Thetford have an away clash at UCL Division One Peterborough Sports who play a level below them.

If ties are level after 90 minutes it will go straight to extra-time. Teams that still cannot be separated will go again in a replay next week. Progression to the first round proper comes with a prize fee of £800.

In league action, Norwich United - who exited the FA Cup on Tuesday after a fine little run – look to show their Premier Division title credentials once more at Brantham Athletic.

Gorleston welcome league leaders and reigning champions Hadleigh United.

In the First Division, Dereham Town Reserves are on the road as they do battle with Braintree Town's second string.

Steadily improving Downham Town are at home and will be looking to pick up their third league win of the term against basement boys Cornard United.

Swaffham Town – who have played four games less than league leaders Long Melford but are only four points behind them – can keep up their excellent early-season form by winning at struggling reserve outfit Needham Market. They sit third from bottom.

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