John knows agony and ecstasy of Vase

IPSWICH Wanderers boss John Clarkson leads his team into action tomorrow having experienced the agony and ecstasy of FA Vase football.Wanderers, who will be without suspended midfielder Marc Lowe, must overcome Long Melford in tomorrow's second qualifying round tie to grab the £600 prize money and a place in the first round proper.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH Wanderers boss John Clarkson leads his team into action tomorrow having experienced the agony and ecstasy of FA Vase football.

Wanderers, who will be without suspended midfielder Marc Lowe, must overcome Long Melford in tomorrow's second qualifying round tie to grab the £600 prize money and a place in the first round proper.

Clarkson, in his first season in charge at Humber Doucy Lane, experienced one of his all-time lows last season when he was with Cornish club Launceston and they were KO'd for fielding an ineligible player.


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He said: “We won through on the Tuesday night against a club one league higher and by the Friday we were being told we were out. My bottom lip hit the floor.

“We signed a lad in good faith and his former club didn't have the good grace to tell us he was actually suspended.”

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Clarkson also advanced to the quarter-finals of the national tournament with Porthleven during his time in the South West and he confirmed: “I'm a big fan of the competition and I would really love us to have a run.”

It looks like a huge task for Melford, who are in the bottom half of the Ridgeons League First Division with just one win from six games.

But Clarkson warned: “We can't afford to go into this game thinking it is going to be easy. That could be asking for trouble.

“I have confidence in my team but their attitude has to be spot-on. If it is, and they play as well as I know they can do, we should win the game.”

Wanderers are unbeaten in three games since a 2-1 reverse at Tiptree and Clarkson added: “The players have knuckled down well and worked hard.

“But I can't believe the number of chances we have missed. If we took just half of them we'd be laughing.

“The club finished seventh last season but that means nothing now. I think some players were guilty of resting on their laurels.”

Striker Rene Swann has already netted ten times this season but Clarkson is keen to add to his attacking options and is lining up a move for a player he knew in Cornwall and who is now back in the London area after returning from a spell in Canada.

Elsewhere in the Vase, there is plenty of local interest with Woodbridge at home to Hadleigh, Stowmarket entertaining Ely and Whitton travelling to face in-form Soham.

Back in the Premier Division, no team will be more desperate for a victory than Felixstowe & Walton United, who have gone six games without a win.

Steve Potts' team started life back in the top flight with two successive triumphs and tomorrow's visit from bottom club Norwich United would appear to represent the best possible chance of returning to winning ways.

League leaders Needham Market, who have yet to lose a league game this season, should cement their position at the top by beating lowly CRC at Bloomfields.

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