Gareth Thomas in action for Thatcham in last week's 2-1 win over Ascot United
TADLEY Calleva and Thatcham Town bid for a place in the First Round Proper of this season’s FA Vase when they go into action on Saturday.
Thatcham have a quick return date with fellow Hellenic Leaguers Brimscombe and Thrupp at Waterside Park, having been held to a goal-less league draw by the same side two weeks ago, while Tadley travel to Combined Counties League Chertsey Town.
The Wessex League side looking to reach the competition proper for the first time in their history, and manager Danny Dolan has turned back to his tried and trusted squad of last season to bid to reclaim the form that kept them in the promotion race throughout the campaign.
“The team spirit is good, and I’ve gone back to last season’s squad,” said the manager. “Chertsey have been struggling, but they are still a team from a higher league than us and hopefully we can go there and get the place in the First Round proper of the Vase we’ve been aiming to bring to the club.”
Thatcham will entertain Brimscombe and Thrupp without top scorer Marcus Mealing, who has been suspended for six matches for spitting at an opponent during Town’s recent League Cup win at Chalfont Wasps.
“The referee’s report annihilated him,” said co-manager Gareth Thomas. “We couldn’t appeal because there was no video evidence.”
Mealing has netted 13 goals this season, but Thomas is confident that he has the squad to cover for his absence with Ian Davies, Josh Helmore and veteran Yashwa Romeo all available for the tie.
If replays are needed, they will be staged on Tuesday night.