Vase dreams

IPSWICH Wanderers manager John Clarkson still holds dreams of becoming the first club to win the FA Carlsberg Vase after coming through from the first qualifying round.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Wanderers manager John Clarkson still holds dreams of becoming the first club to win the FA Carlsberg Vase after coming through from the first qualifying round.

They beat Norwich United 3-1 away on September 9, and tomorrow visit fellow Ridgeons League Premier Division Lowestoft Town in the fourth round proper.

“We have battled our way through five rounds to get this far,” said Clarkson.

“And with the final scheduled for Wembley this season we have every incentive to go further.

“But there is no doubt we will be underdogs against Lowestoft, and they must think they are already through to the last 16.

Most Read

“They beat us 4-0 in a league fixture and they are the best team in the league by a mile.

“Lowestoft should beat us, but we will be giving it our best shot.”

Lowestoft, the current Ridgeons League champions, have been rocked by financial concerns and they called a special meeting on Monday when 250 fans were told that the club must pay £13,000 to the Inland Revenue by next Monday.

More than £2,000 was raised on the night. Turnstiles at Crown Meadow will effectively be closed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs should Lowestoft fail to come up with the cash - and to maintain further payments.

The taxman could issue a winding-up order and Lowestoft, after spending more than 120 years in the Eastern Counties League, would be no more.

“Their off-field problems may not help their cause,” added Clarkson, who lives five minutes from Crown Meadow.

“And I like to think we can give them a game. But much will depend on the fitness of key players.”

Louie Farrington (hamstring), Lee Owen (ankle), Sean Bell (hamstring) and Marc Lowe (sickness) face fitness tests, while Simon Hyde only returned from holiday today.

Gareth Jones is also a doubt, and Clarkson went on: “Whoever we met at this stage it would be tough, but we have been handed a particularly tough assignment.”

Clarkson is travelling from Lowestoft, where he owns four care homes and a day centre, to drive back on the A12 with the Wanderers party.

“We will stop for a late breakfast on the journey,” added Clarkson, who has hit a big snag with his signing of Togo international Guyazou Kassim on an 18-month contract.

“The player fits work permit criteria as he is a current full international, but I have been told that a permit will not be issued for any club outside the Football League,” he explained.

“It is a problem that will be difficult to get round, which is a shame as the lad is keen to play for us.”

Mildenhall are the third Ridgeons team left in the Vase, and they have a home tie against Dorset side Sherborne, who play in the First Division of the Western League.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter