We're planning for fun, says Aldis

SOCCER: Stowmarket Town, who pocketed a welcome £16,000 from the FA Cup last season, will be playing for £150 first qualifying round prize money in the FA Vase tomorrow.


STOWMARKET Town, who pocketed a welcome £16,000 from the FA Cup last season, will be playing for £150 first qualifying round prize money in the FA Vase tomorrow.

They take on South Midland League Harpenden at Greens Meadow looking to make progress, but they need to get to the fifth round proper stage before winning a Vase game brings in a five figure cheque.

The Jewson League Premier Division club suffered a financial blow last Saturday when beaten heavily by Southall in the FA Cup.

"Last season we enjoyed a bit of a run and made ourselves some money from the Football Association," said manager Mel Aldis today. "This time we will not be so lucky with just the Vase to draw money from.

"But at the end of the day we play for fun and any money is a bonus. We know a little about Harpenden and they are top of their table with five wins and one draw.

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"We expect a tough match, but come tomorrow night we will be disappointed if we haven't gone through.

"We can take inspiration from Tiptree United, the Jewson League club who reached the Vase final last May."

Harpenden play in Division One and look on course to move up to the Premier Division of the South Midland League.

Aldis expects to have a full squad to select from and is pleased with the addition of former West Ham forward Bobby Mayes and Rotherham's Glyn Roberts to his squad.

"I have not necessarily improved the strength of my team – but the strength of my squad," added Aldis.

"Against Ipswich Wanderers on Wednesday we won 1-0 and I switched the formation round to try to fool Wanderers, who had watched our previous match.

"We have not played well and have stuttered along. We should improve when I know what my best options are. We have yet to click."

Wednesday's win still put Stowmarket into second place with four wins and one defeat – by AFC Sudbury.

"Both Bobby and Glyn have already spent time on the bench and I looked along the dug-out on Wednesday and saw five substitutes all good enough to have started the game.

"Bobby and Glyn have fitted in well to our way of doing things. We finished sixth in the league last season and this must be our aim again.

"Whether we can make in-roads into the top half-dozen remains to be seen. We shall certainly be making every effort."

Felixstowe and Walton United welcome Letchworth to Dellwood Avenue also in the Vase, while Whitton United have an intriguing contest in prospect against Enfield Town who top the Foresters Essex Senior League.

In the Jewson League, Ipswich Wanderers visit Newmarket tonight with Woodbridge looking for their first win of the season at Dereham tomorrow.

Hadleigh have made a glorious start to their First Division campaign, and will be confident of returning from Warboys with all three points. Needham Market are at home to newcomers Godmanchester and Leiston entertain Somersham.

In the Metaltec SIL, Woodbridge Athletic put their 100 per cent record to the test against Capel Plough, with title favourites Walsham-le-Willows certain to be given a hard time by Old Newton.