Praise for Ridgeons sides
SEVEN Ridgeons League teams are still involved in the FA Vase - with the league receiving massive praise from the current holders of the competition.Mildenhall Town drew 4-4 after extra time with Didcot at Loop Meadow Stadium on Saturday, and the Hellenic League Premier Division club were full of praise for their opponents.
By Elvin King
SEVEN Ridgeons League teams are still involved in the FA Vase - with the league receiving massive praise from the current holders of the competition.
Mildenhall Town drew 4-4 after extra time with Didcot at Loop Meadow Stadium on Saturday, and the Hellenic League Premier Division club were full of praise for their opponents.
Commenting on the thriller, Didcot official Steve Clare said: “That was a heck of a performance. If Mildenhall are in the bottom half of the Ridgeons League, it must be quite a league. They were absolutely tremendous.
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“They defended fantastically until very late on when it needed a sweet volley to rescue us for the second time.
“They were in a huddle for a couple of minutes after the game. Not one of our supporters left the ground - they all waited to clap them off the pitch.
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“We were underdogs throughout the competition last season so we have that extra bit of respect for the less fancied sides that give absolutely everything.”
The third-round replay takes place at Recreation Way tonight, with Mildenhall having every incentive to go through as the winners have been drawn against Dorking, who are currently 12th in the Ryman League Division Two.
The only Ridgeons League side to go out on Saturday were Soham, who were beaten by Bury Town.
Bury have been given a great chance of success on January 21 as they have drawn against Wessex Division One Brockenhurst, who have won just once in 18 league games and are three places off the foot of the table.
AFC Sudbury have not been so fortunate. Looking to reach the final for the fourth consecutive season and beaten by Didcot in the final last May, they entertain Bedlington Terriers - the team they beat on penalties in last season's semi-final.
Bedlington, currently second in the Northern League First Division, have scored 48 goals in 19 league matches.
Needham Market are in the fourth round for the first time, and they are also at home. This time they entertain Nantwich, who are fourth in the North West Counties First Division and have never gone beyond the fourth round of the Vase.
Needham manager Mark Morsley, who yesterday signed striker Ben Cranfield from Halstead, said: “All you can ask for is to be at home. And to meet a team from another league is also a bonus. The draw could have been a lot worse.”
n FA Vase fourth round draw (To be played Saturday, January 21): Crook Town v St Blazey, Pickering Town v Tavistock, Leamington v Wimborne Town, Needham Market v Nantwich Town, Thackley v Coalville Town or Arnold Town, Dorking v Didcot Town or Mildenhall Town, Newcastle Benfield (Bay Plastics) v Lowestoft Town, VCD Athletic v Maidstone Utd or Broxbourne Borough V&E, Chessington & Hook Utd v Cammell Laird, Selby Town or Buxton v Ashville or Racing Club Warwick, Brockenhurst v Bury Town, Newmarket Town v Welwyn Garden City, Hillingdon Borough v Wisbech Town or Brook House, Squires Gate v Gedling Town or Glossop North End, Hythe Town v Winchester City, AFC Sudbury v Bedlington Terriers.