Wroxham predict record crowd for cup tie

Chris Lakey Wroxham are confident that they can play host to King's Lynn's travelling army of supporters after the Norfolk clubs were thrown together in yesterday's FA Cup draw.

Chris Lakey

Wroxham are confident that they can play host to King's Lynn's travelling army of supporters after the Norfolk clubs were thrown together in yesterday's FA Cup draw.

Club officials are preparing to hold talks with Norfolk Police, but are confident Trafford Park will be able to host possibly the biggest crowd in the Ridgeon's League club's history when the teams clash in the third qualifying round of the world's oldest knockout competition on October 11.

"We have a few logistics which need to be sorted," said Wroxham secretary Chris Green. "But I have set the wheels in motion already and we will seek police advice, that's something we need to do.

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"We have had King's Lynn here a few times before and although we were warned of possible problems, nothing happened that was of any concern. And we expect that to be the case again.

"At this stage we expect it to be played at Wroxham, but naturally we will take the best advice in our preparations for the game."

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Yachtsmen treasurer Kenny Cooke said he believed Wroxham's attendance record of around 1,100 would be broken.

"It's an exciting draw for the whole county," he said. "I think it will be our record crowd - our best is 1,100 when we played Wisbech seven years ago on a Tuesday night when we were going for promotion.

"I don't think changing the venue is an option at this point in time. King's Lynn people are always very hospitable to us and I don't foresee any problems. We have coped with it before - I am already getting the car parking sorted because that would be our biggest problem.

"As far as segregation goes, we have never had any problems with them before and I see no reason why we should this time. They are not known to be problems. Our own crowds aren't that good - the average is about 150 people so I am quite comfortable with it.

"A little old club like us needs the money to be honest - and we are not alone. This match is a big, big boost for us."

While Wroxham plan their approach off the field, manager Damian Hilton is busy working out his on-field strategy and is hoping for a repeat of their heroics on Saturday, when they won 2-1 against Heybridge Swifts.

"It was a marvellous result, I am very proud of the team," he said. "This is a thrilling draw and a winnable one.

"I thought on Saturday how it would be nice to get them - and then it comes along. We played them pre-season at the start of last year but I know they've had a lot of changes since then. I know Keith Webb from my time at Norwich City when he was youth team manager and we know a few of their players as they know a few of ours.

"I think whoever came out of the hat it was going to be difficult game and this is a fairly mammoth task, but we are at home and you never know.

"As a manager the league is always the priority, but the lads always relish the FA Cup, for obvious reasons. The target is to get as far as you can and there are big incentives. We've won a few thousand already and the club have helped me sign a couple of other players - and if we win again then I'd hope I would see a bit more of it.

"It's a bit of a no-lose situation at the moment - but winning is not impossible."

Wroxham beat Lynn 3-2 in the first qualifying round back in 1996-97 and while Linnets boss Webb has steered his team through the difficult opening stages of life in Conference North he knows that going to Trafford Park will be no pushover.

"I went there a couple of weeks ago to watch them play Walsham-le-Willows," he said. "Wroxham won the game - Walsham didn't put up too much of a fight to be honest and to be fair to Wroxham they do like to pass the ball around a bit so it has all the makings of a good cup tie.

"It doesn't matter what you say to the players, there is always the possibility of it being a banana skin - the Carling Cup shows that. We will make sure our players are focused.

"I anticipate a lot of supporters going from King's Lynn. We took 600 people to Merthyr at the end of last season and we have always taken strong away support in any FA Cup game I have been involved in."

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