FA Vase is this weekend’s focus for Fakenham Town

Ricky Claxton shows close control while playing for Fakenham Town Reserves on Saturday. Picture: TON

Ricky Claxton shows close control while playing for Fakenham Town Reserves on Saturday. Picture: TONY MILES - Credit: Archant

Fakenham Town kick off their FA Vase campaign on Saturday with the visit of Mildenhall Town – and a quick chance to put right an earlier league defeat, writes Gareth Davis.

Mildenhall left Clipbush Park with all three Thurlow Nunn Premier Division points last month but they return to Norfolk to face a Ghosts team looking to make amends for that 1-0 loss. Wayne Anderson’s players go into the second qualifying round tie on the back of last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Wivenhoe Town and the previous Wednesday’s 2-1 win at home to Thetford Town, leaving the manager feeling positive.

Anderson said: “We were unlucky in the league game and had some good opportunities to finish that one off but chances are rare at this level and if you get them you have to take them otherwise you can quickly find the ball is in the back of your net.

“But we know we are capable of beating Mildenhall and also our squad is getting stronger now.

“We have got Kyle Plumb coming back, Lee Day will be back in a couple of weeks too and Ashley Jarvis is getting minutes for the first team, plus Alex Walpole should be in the squad on Saturday.

“We have got plenty of bodies to choose from so we will go out there, give it our all, and hopefully we will get through to the next round.”

Definitely missing on Saturday is 17-year-old midfielder Dion Frary, who scored both of the goals in the victory over Thetford, as he is on duty with Norfolk Under-18s – where he is joined by two of his Fakenham colleagues, striker Connor Walker and left-back Ben Calvert.

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If Saturday’s game is level after 90 minutes then it will go straight to extra time, and if the two sides still can’t be separated a replay will take place at Mildenhall on Tuesday (7.45pm).

That will mean the postponement of the Ghosts’ Premier Division trip to Thetford, which is currently scheduled for Tuesday.

Monday, October 6 sees the club’s under-18s welcome Harverhill Rovers to Clipbush Park in the second qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup (7.45pm).

Fakenham’s reserves lost 3-2 at home to Thorpe Village last Saturday in Anglian Combination Division Three and this Saturday go to Downham Town Reserves (noon kick-off) in the second round of the Norfolk Junior Cup.

Completing the news from Clipbush Park is 18-year-old goalkeeper Joe Simpson joining Dereham Town to get some Thurlow Nunn football under his belt.

Simpson made his debut for Dereham’s reserves in their 2-0 First Division defeat at Saffron Walden Town on Saturday but will return to Fakenham in the event of an injury to Tommy Rix.