Kirkley up for FA Vase challenge

PUBLISHED: 10:05 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:13 06 July 2010


WE'D have taken two wins at the start of the week.

Last Saturday against Debenham LC was a test for us. We took a little while to get going.


WE'D have taken two wins at the start of the week.

Last Saturday against Debenham LC was a test for us. We took a little while to get going. After about 25 minutes we got into our stride and hit the woodwork four times.

We went in level, which was probably a little bit disappointing on the balance of play.

We scored early in the second half and then weathered a little bit of a storm, when they had a couple of chances. But we scored two late goals when they went down to ten men.

But generally we were pretty pleased with the day's work. The scoreline probably flattered us a little but as they had two good chances at 0-0, when we lost a little bit of concentration.

After that we were well on top. Not a brilliant performance, but a good performance.

I've said it before, but we've got a very settled back four. We get a lot of headlines for scoring the goals we do, but the back five of Woodcock, Grint, Jefford, DeCoteau and Blois have got a good understanding and given us a really good base to go forward.

On Wednesday we were at Walsham-le-Willows, for our Suffolk Premier Cup quarter-final tie and our fifth meeting of the season.

I think it's getting a little bit boring and the management teams are going to go around each others for dinner at some point!

They're a difficult side and get lots of men around the ball and wait for the opposition to make mistakes.

It was a pretty poor performance first half and we went 1-0 down and to be fair it could have been one or two more.

In the second half we were much more at the races and looked at lot better. Justin Fox scored an absolutely cracking goal, after good movement and a good finish from 25 yards.

From there, it did look like there would only be one winner. We had a couple of really good chances to finish the game. We got into extra time and our fitness came through and I was pleasantly surprised at how much our fitness came through.

We got a penalty and then it was just a matter of hitting them on the break as they became a little bit more open.

There are four good teams left in the competition now, Ipswich Reserves, Needham Market, Bury and ourselves, as you would expect. If we got a home draw I'd be absolutely delighted - but if we got Ipswich Reserves away at Portman Road I wouldn't be too disappointed either.

I think this is the start of a busy period of big games for us. Tomorrow it's Biggleswade at home in the Vase. I think everyone looks at the Vase as a national competition with financial rewards for getting through and we are one of those teams who want to do well.

These games are all about how you play on the day. We've got a lot of cup experience and I think a home draw's really important in this competition.

It's now up to us to make the advantage tell.

We know a little bit about them. They've had a poorish start to the season but have improved of late. They've got a couple of lads up front whose goals to game ratio is pretty good. So if they do get a few chances they're likely to put them away but we have been good defensively and I think it'll be a key part of the game on Saturday.

We'll always create chances, but we've been a bit disappointed with our conversion rate of late and we could have been out of sight in games and we haven't been. That needs to improve.

It's one we're looking forward to and the players are certainly up for.

We love to see a big crowd at Walmer Road tomorrow. It's a good opportunity for the town to get behind the team as we've got a lot of good things going on at the club.

We've got some great fans and a good atmosphere and a bit of noise wouldn't go amiss to help the players on their way.

Stewart Larter was speaking to Jon Redhead

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