WALSHAM-LE-WILLOWS will enter their Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup campaign on a high.
The Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side entertain Ipswich Town in the second round of the competition on Wednesday night, kick-off 7.30pm.
The match is one of five second-round ties – three on Tuesday and two on Wednesday – taking place this week.
Walsham, who entertain Ipswich Town at The Morrish Stadium, moved up to fourth in the Premier Division following their 4-0 victory over Haverhill Rovers on Saturday.
Their rise up the table is all the more pleasing after a difficult start to the season saw them forced to withdraw from their Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie at Newmarket Town due to one of their players testing positive for COVID-19.
They then lost their opening league game of the season 5-4 at Gorleston. The only other defeat they have suffered while racking up four victories has been away to Wroxham, who top the table thanks to six straight wins.
Manager Trevor Collins said of the Gorleston game: “Whilst that was a disappointing result, bearing in mind what we had all been through in the previous few months, it was nice to play our part in such an entertaining game of football and we have kicked on from that.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game at Wroxham and we had to play the last half-an-hour with ten men and conceded the winner in the 98th minute to lose 2-1, which was a bitter pill to swallow.
“Grant Holt (the ex-Norwich City striker who now plays for Wroxham) was very complimentary about us after the game, and we took a lot of positives from that match.”
One of Walsham’s youngsters to catch the eye this season is striker Kieran Twinn, who scored all four goals in the second-half on Saturday and leads the Premier Division goal charts with seven in five league starts so far.
Collins and Walsham are now looking forward to taking on Ipswich Town’s youngsters on Wednesday.
He said: “It is an important game for the club and it would be nice to get a few people there watching.”
The match is one of two big cup matches in the space of just four days for Walsham – on Saturday they travel to Thurlow Nunn League Division One North side Sheringham in the Buildbase FA Vase.
Walsham (yellow shirts) are pictured in action above in the second round of last season's competition when they won 2-1 at Whitton United, for whom Liam Wales (green & white striped shirt) is pictured scoring at King George V. Photograph: Paul Voller.
“We would like to have a good run in the FA Vase this season, so I am going to have to change players around as we have a young squad,” added Collins.
Wednesday’s other tie is an all-Thurlow Nunn League affair – second-from-bottom Long Melford entertaining third-placed Kirkley & Pakefield.
Tuesday’s matches feature another Step 5 meeting as Shane Coldron’s Whitton United host his former club Stowmarket Town.
Brantham Athletic will be bidding to get back to winning ways after exiting the FA Cup to Aveley on Saturday when they welcome higher-league Felixstowe & Walton United.
There is another Step 5 v Step 4 clash as Isthmian League North AFC Sudbury visit The Millfield to face Hadleigh United, who knocked them out 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the same stage of the competition last season.
Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Second Round: Brantham Athletic v Felixstowe & Walton Utd, Hadleigh Utd v AFC Sudbury, Whitton Utd v Stowmarket Town, Woodbridge Town v Haverhill Rovers – postponed.
Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Second Round: Long Melford v Kirkley & Pakefield, Walsham-le-Willows v Ipswich Town.