Lining up another Vase success: Tadley's Grant Powell
TADLEY CALLEVA will look to shake off their recent league wobbles as they bid for another FA Vase strike when they entertain Newport IoW in the Third Round proper at Barlows Park.
“The Vase run is wonderful, but that can be taken away from us in the space of 90 minutes,” said manager Danny Dolan after his side lost 2-1 at home to US Portsmouth last week. “The league is what we set out to achieve this year and disappointingly, we lost only five games all last season and we’ve lost five already with 23 games to go.”
But Dolan is confident that his side can rise to the challenge of facing a team from a higher level. “I think this is a winnable game,” he said. “We can put in a performance that’s worthy of beating anyone on out day, and I know we can win 100 per cent. League form goes out of the window in this.”
Dolan has only a minor doubt over skipper Scott Kinge, taken off as a precaution on Saturday, but he expects to field the same 16 who saw action against Haywards Heath in the previous round.
Tadley will need to close the league gap as Saturday’s rivals cross The Solent.
The one-time Southern Leaguers even had a spell in the Isthmian League during one of umpteen reorganisations before reverting and then dropping back into the Wessex League in 2008.
Consolidated in the Premier Division since then, regular success in the Isle of Wight Gold Cup has been the main source of silverware, with no FA Vase escapades matching their Fifth Round journeys of the 1991-92 and 92-93 seasons.
This season has been one in the middle, with eight wins, eight defeats and a draw alongside previous Vase defeats of Abbey Rangers, Portishead and Chippenham Park, two of those on the road.
The club made a managerial change this year when one time player Andy Sampson returned to the club after managing Cowes to two Gold Cup wins to break Newport’s grip, and the Island Games XI manager is a keen believer in home produced talent, although he will look to the mainland occasionally and recently brought in striker Tom McInness from Portsmouth side Moneyfields.
Recent form saw them enjoy six games unbeaten, although that record was smashed when they went down 4-1 at Brockenhurst last week.