VIDEO: Wisbech Town will play Olly Murs’ former side in FA Vase Third Round
OLLY Murs’ former side will entertain Wisbech Town in the FA Vase Third Round on December 3.
The singer, TV presenter and former X-Factor star was a striker for Essex Senior League outfit Whitam Town before a cruciate knee ligament injury ended his semi-professional career.
But while Murs’ career has taken off Whitam remain at Step 5 of the non-league pyramid - the same level as the Fenmen - following relegation from Ryman Division One North in the 2008/09 season.
The Town, managed by ex-Cambridge United and Peterborough United midfielder Garry Kimble, have already dumped Ridgeons League Team Bury and Woodbridge Town out of this year’s competition.
And although Witham currently sit second in their league, Appleby’s in-form Fenmen - who triumphed 1-0 at Racing Club Warwick on Saturday thanks to a first-half goal from Callum Reed - are sure to offer a tougher test when they travel to the Spicer McColl ground next month.
The winners of the tie will pocket �1,500, a place in the competition’s last 32 and keep alive their dream of playing in a Wembley final next year.
Appleby said: “We’re in a great run of form at the minute and although it wasn’t the greatest of places to go and play football we did a job at Warwick.
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“Ryan Rayner (Wisbech ‘keeper) didn’t have much to do and although we had a couple of chances at the end to kill the game off it’s only the result that matters.
“We had to go there and do a job, to do enough to come away with a win, and that’s what the Vase is all about.
“It would have been nice for the club and the supporters to have been drawn at home in the third round but it doesn’t bother me that we’re away.
“If anything I think being away can give you an advantage because it takes the pressure off you. You’re expected to win at home but when you’re away you can go and focus on doing a job.”
Appleby praised the club’s noisy travelling support for their help in Saturday’s win but admitted he would not be sharing fans’ delight in fierce rivals King’s Lynn Town’s exit from the competition.
He said: “As a player it was good to hear the fans because it lifts you - the supporters did that for the lads on Saturday.
“We did need them and I’ve always loved it when I was a player here, or as manager now, because the fans are never shy in supporting us.
“Wisbech is a big club and not too many teams at this standard get the level of support we do. We can always hear our fans and it’s nice to give them something to shout about.
“A lot of them might be even happier because Lynn are out but I’m only interested in what happens at Wisbech Town - it matters little to me whether Lynn are in the competition or not.”
The Fenmen, currently third in the Ridgeons Premier Division, have won their last nine games and are unbeaten in their last 12 matches.
Appleby’s in-form side return to action tomorrow when their bid to retain the Ridgeons League Challenge Cup continues with a second-round tie at Norwich United.
• Video footage from Saturday’s game supplied by Wisbech Town’s website and programme editor Spenny Larham.
The FA Vase Third Round draw in full
Tividale v Brocton
Glossop North End v Runcorn Town
Billingham Synthonia v Consett AFC
Holbrook Sports v Norton United
Squires Gate v Staveley MW
Dunston UTS v Parkgate
Spennymoor Town v Ashington
Newcastle Benfield v Deeping Rangers
Askern Villa v West Auckland Town
Peterborough Northern Star v Armthorpe Welfare
Whitley Bay v Bridlington Town
Gresley v Gornal Athletic
Oadby Town v Tipton Town
Hanworth Villa v Herne Bay
Bethnal Green United v Sporting Bengal United
Newport Pagnell Town v Godmanchester Rovers
Southend Manor v Three Bridges
Haringey Borough v Royston Town
Long Buckby v Leverstock Green or Enfield 1893
Ringmer or Binfield v Flackwell Heath
VCD Athletic v Tunbridge Wells
Witham Town v Wisbech Town
Lancing v Ampthill Town
South Park v Diss Town
Peacehaven & Telscombe v St Ives Town
Willand Rovers or Highworth Town v Falmouth Town AFC
Bemerton Heath Harlequins v Shortwood United
Bournemouth v Barnstaple Town
Old Woodstock Town v Alton Town or Wantage Town
Ilfracombe Town v Bodmin Town or Larkhall Athletic
Bitton AFC v Christchurch
Reading Town v Cowes Sports