Wisbech St Mary manager Duke says his side are ‘underdogs’ in FA Vase debut against Diss - but they can cause upset


- Credit: Archant

Wisbech St Mary manager Arran Duke says his side can upset the odds when they host higher-level Diss Town in their historic first ever FA Vase clash tomorrow.

Kershaw Premier side St Mary have made a fantastic start to the season - they have won seven of their eight league games and are one point off leaders Cambridge City Reserves, having played two games less.

On Saturday, they beat Linton Granta 4-0. Ryan Lennon broke the deadlock after 15 minutes, Ashley Symonds made it two mid-way through the half, Edgaras Buzas made it seven goals in eight games with the third on the half hour mark and, 20 minutes from time, James McManus completed the scoring.

Thurlow Nunn First Division outfit Diss will be a far tougher challenge, Duke says, but he believes his men - buoyed by their league form - can spring a surprise.

He said: “It’s a massive game. It’s our first time in the FA Vase. We were looking at the rules and regulations to enter our youth side into the FA Cup and found that, with our facilities, we were eligible for the FA Vase.

“We don’t really know what to expect but we are confident in the way that we are playing. We respect Diss but we are not fearful of them. “It’s good that we have a couple of cup games, then a weekend off. There is absolutely no pressure on us against Diss. We are the underdogs, which suits us.”

Wisbech St Mary will have to cope without the suspended Lewis Cook and goalkeeper Drew Barker. Otherwise, Duke has a full squad to choose from.

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The club is determined to make the day a special occasion which celebrates the impressive steps they have been making, Duke says.

In June, more than 320 teams took part in the club’s annual five a side football tournament, which was attended by scouts from Norwich City, Peterborough United and Cambridge United.

He said: “We are trying to make the day an event. We’re getting the youth team players involved as mascots. We would certainly like to see some new faces at the game to show them what we can do. We’ve been building towards an occasion like this for years.”

The game is at Wisbech St Mary Playing Fields, on Station Road (PE13 4RT). 3pm kick off.