Lowestoft Town start to catch title rivals

John Cushion Cup exploits have seen Lowestoft Town fall behind in their league programme and the aim is to capitalise on the games in hand, continuing with a home match against VCD Athletic today.

John Cushion

Cup exploits have seen Lowestoft Town fall behind in their league programme and the aim is to capitalise on the games in hand, continuing with a home match against VCD Athletic today.

Apart from one or two niggles, the Trawler Boys will be picking from a strong squad and will be keen to build on Tuesday's 3-0 victory against league leaders Great Wakering Rovers.

Joint manager Micky Chapman, who has a strong squad to choose from, said: “The focus is on league games now and it's important to get the points on the board.”

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The visitors, from Crayford, are midway in Ryman League Division One North, having lost 1-0 at home to Margate in their last game.

At Ridgeons level, attention is split three ways with teams involved in the FA Vase, Norfolk Senior Cup and league.

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Fixtures were hastily re-arranged following Wroxham's 0-0 home draw with Halstead midweek in the FA Vase second round tie.

They replay at Halstead today, with a trip to Buckinghamshire outfit Flackwell Heath awaiting the winners.

Great Yarmouth find themselves in a position to cement their position at the top of the First Division with a re-arranged match at Long Melford, their Senior Cup tie with Wroxham at the Wellesley now pencilled in for Tuesday night (7.45 ko).

Long Melford, after a run of 18 games without a win, won at Fakenham last weekend and at Saffron Walden in midweek. The Bloaters are on a run which sees them top a division for the first time since November 1996.

But manager Paul Tong maintains a cautious attitude. “There are no prizes for being top of the league at this stage of the season and I'd rather be top come May 1, but of course I'm very pleased for the lads and for everybody connected with the club.

“It shows we're going in the right direction and our aim is to make sure we finish in the top three at the end of the season. But that's a long way away, we're not halfway through the season yet.”

The Senior Cup throws up some David v Goliath ties in the fourth round.

Gorleston, steaming up the Ridgeons First Division, host defending Anglian Combination champions Sheringham, for whom this season is not going well.

Dereham of the Ridgeons Premier face a tough trip to a North Walsham outfit third in the Anglian Combination chase for the Sterry Cup.

Dereham boss Matt Henman says there will be no major changes from the team that was unlucky to lose in the Vase last week. Stu Williams, Scott Roberts and Ben Latimer will improve fitness by playing for the reserves and Sam Groves is called up to the first team squad. The Magpies are hoping to add another left-sided player to their squad and he could be named for the first team if the transfer goes through in time.

Fakenham, pointless in Division One, visit Premier Division Norwich United while Ridgeons Premier King's Lynn Reserves entertain Combination Premier Spixworth.

The potential giant-killers can draw inspiration from Mattishall, who last night came from behind to win 2-1 in extra-time at Diss.

After Stuart Jenkinson had fired the home side into an early lead, Gary Starling equalised from a free-kick.

The Anglian Combination side had the better of the second half without finding a way through but won the won game with a spectacular goal from Chris Hall nine minutes into extra-time.

To complete the Diss misery they had Matt Adcock sent off got for a retaliatory push on Joe Edwards.

In the league, Kirkley & Pakefield visit Felixstowe, Mildenhall entertain Debenham LC, Wisbech are at home to Hadleigh, Thetford visit March and Swaffham host Downham.

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