Wroxham expect record gate in FA Vase semi-final

Paddy DavittWroxham officials are gearing up for the biggest day in the club's history as FA Vase fever grips the Yachtsmen. The Norfolk outfit have already sold 500 tickets for Saturday's FA Vase semi-final, second leg against Whitehawk at their 2,000 capacity Trafford Park home.Paddy Davitt

Wroxham officials are gearing up for the biggest day in the club's history as FA Vase fever grips the Yachtsmen.

The Norfolk outfit have already sold 500 tickets for Saturday's FA Vase semi-final, second leg against Whitehawk at their 2,000 capacity Trafford Park home.

With League One leaders Norwich City playing Tranmere in a televised fixture on Good Friday, Wroxham's hierarchy are confident of smashing the club's record attendance at Skinners Lane.

David Batch's side moved within 90 minutes of Wembley after Paul Cook and Andy Eastaugh clinched a 2-0 weekend win in the first leg on the south coast.


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'It will be great to see Trafford Park bursting at the seams,' said committee member Ian Bedson.

'The phone has been ringing off the hook since the first leg and we're confident that this is going to be the biggest crowd we've ever had at Trafford Park.

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'We've held discussions with the police over the capacity and with Norwich not playing on the Saturday we believe we'll top our previous record gate which was around 1,300 for Wisbech a few years ago.

'This is what the club has been waiting for all these years after some lean times.

'We are one of the biggest clubs in East Anglia and this is going to be a great occasion for the whole region - not just Norfolk.

'I'm sure all the local clubs will support us and of course it would be great if Norwich City, the biggest club in the county, backs us as well. We've already sold about 200 tickets or so just to Canaries' fans.'

Bedson is adamant the Ridgeons League club can handle the expected bumper crowd with the Yachtsmen attracting average league gates of just 111 this season.

'We will be well prepared,' he said. 'Tickets are available in advance but supporters can also pay on the gate. However, we would advise fans without tickets to get to the ground as early as possible on the day. We've been in touch with the FA and they have outlined their requirements and there are people at the club who will be working round the clock now up to the weekend to make sure the game goes off perfectly.

'There's ample parking within a five minute walk to the ground and for anyone who hasn't visited us before there will be plenty of signs, boards and stewards on hand. As you can imagine we've also had a lot of interest from local companies and firms who want to get involved and support us. One of the match sponsors has offered a pair of tickets to next season's FA Community Shield as a raffle prize on the day and we hope to have an ex-Norwich legend to help us draw it.'

Wroxham have cancelled tonight's scheduled reserves' Anglian Combination fixture against Blofield in a bid to protect the Trafford Park playing surface.

'The forecast is for bad weather later this week and we don't want to take any chances,' said Bedson. 'The club would like to thank Chris McCulloch at the Anglian Combination for his assistance in making that possible. We know there is still a lot of hard work ahead. Really, we're still only at half time - albeit we are leading 2-0 - but I can assure you none of the players or the club members are taking anything for granted about reaching Wembley. We've got people here with over 50 years experience at the club - the likes of Pat Penn, Alan Royal, Tony Dickerson and Geoffrey Skeet - and they have seen all the ups and the downs so its great to savour this cup run and what is ahead of us this weekend.'

t Tickets for Saturday's second leg can be purchased in advance from the club 01603 400300. Admission prices: �8 adults, �5 concessions and �3 for children under 12.

Tickets are also available in advance from Dolphin Autos, Swanton Road in Norwich, Hazell Butchers, Corbet Avenue, Sprowston, Roys of Wroxham and at the Norfolk FA football development centre in Bowthorpe by ringing 01603 748944.

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