Can Hadleigh stars exorcise Vase ghosts?

16:07 08 February 2013

UPSET: Hadleigh

UPSET: Hadleigh's Shane Wardley, back in 2004 (left), disappointed after AFC Sudbury's Vase final defeat to Winchester. Here Wardley is being consoled by Terry Raymer.

HADLEIGH boss Stuart Crawford is hoping memories of FA Vase heartaches can spur his side on to Wembley this season.

HADLEIGH boss Stuart Crawford is hoping memories of FA Vase heartaches can spur his side on to Wembley this season.

The Suffolk side travel to Ampthill Town in Bedfordshire today, in a last 16 Vase clash, hot on the heels of their previous round victory in Yorkshire just last weekend.

Crawford has an experienced team – the likes of Shane Wardley, Neil Calver and James Evans all having enjoyed long Vase runs with other clubs – including reaching the final in Wardley and Calver’s case.

But none are FA Vase winners and Crawford is convinced the hunger is there.

“We go to Ampthill in confident mood,” said Crawford.

“The competition means a lot to the players, their Wembley dreams. I can tell the hunger they have to want to go all the way, we have players who have gone far, but none have won it.

“As a team we tend to perform better away from home, we travel well. I’m not concerned at being away from home.”

Ampthill are currently eighth in the Spartan South Midlands League, after promotion to the Premier Division last season.

They knocked out Diss Town on their current FA Vase run in a previous round, but Crawford has not had time to watch them.

“We only played Emley last Saturday, so there has been no time to take a look at them,” he said.

“Anyhow, we haven’t had any previous opponents watched, so we won’t worry about that.”

Hadleigh have never got past the last 16 of the FA Vase, defeat to Met Police back in 1995 the best run they have enjoyed.

This afternoon the Hadleigh boys of 2013 have a chance to make club history.

Full report, quotes and pictures will appear from Mike Bacon in Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star

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