CORNARD United travel to FC Clacton in the FA Vase on Saturday, hoping for a much-needed financial boost. The winners of this second round qualifying tie pick up prize money of £700.
There will be some added spice to the game, with a number of former Clacton players now in the Cornard line-up, including skipper Scott Pittaway, who captained the Seasiders last season.
Cornard owner Chris Symes, who is in the process of selling the club, said: “It will be a ray of sunshine financially if we get through.”
Cornard lost their bar licence earlier this year, but get it back at the end of the month, and a lack of functions over the summer has hit the club hard. Symes is hoping that will change in the run-up to Christmas.
“Now people are aware that things will be back to normal soon, I hope they will look at coming to the club again for functions. I have written to all the club members asking them to help drum up trade to keep us going,” he said.
The sale of the club to Rob Batten, who now manages the team, is progressing slowly, but Symes hopes the issue will be resolved in the next few weeks.
Victory at FC Clacton on Saturday would bring a home tie in the first round proper against Whitton or Downham, which carries prize money of £900.
Halstead Town host Premier Division outfit Newmarket Town, while Long Melford are in Ridgeons First Division action at Stoneylands against Swaffham Town. Melford also travel to CUP in the Ridgeons League Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).
The Villagers were beaten 4-1 at Town’s Rosemary Lane in a local derby on Tuesday night.
It took a brilliant pass by Dan Sakal to set the speedy Jordan Hutchings down the right and bang in Halstead’s first on 40 minutes.
Melford got back on level terms when an innocuous cross from Ashley Skeggs was fumbled by keeper Matt Walker and fell to Dan Biscoe to tap home on 72 minutes.
Halstead nudged ahead again on 80 minutes when John Root pounced from a free-kick and a late double from Hutchings — both set up by substitute Andy Joslin — completed his hat-trick and wrapped up the game.
Hadleigh United — who were dumped out in the first qualifying round by Stowmarket Town — do not play on Saturday, but travel to Ipswich Wanderers in the Ridgeons League Cup on Wednesday (7.45pm).
On Tuesday, they climbed the Ridgeons Premier table after seeing off Wivenhoe Town 3-1.
United took the lead after 36 minutes when good play on the left by Danny Allen set up Ben Deacon to convert a rebound from the visiting custodian.
Deacon increased Hadleigh’s lead with a cheeky backheel after a fumble by the Wivenhoe keeper for a deserved 2-0 lead at the break.
Remi Garrett struck a spectacular third from long range, but the visitors did pull one back through Oderoyih.