Buildbase FA Vase Quarter-Final
My Bitton underdogs are ready for big Vase mission in Wroxham, leader Langdon says
DAN Langdon admits his Bitton charges head to Norfolk for their big Buildbase FA Vase quarter-final confrontation with Wroxham on Saturday, February 29 (3pm) as underdogs but insisted: “We’ll give it everything,” writes Simon Parkinson.
The Bath Road team, weather permitting of course, enter combat on the outskirts of Norwich with a Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League outfit sitting fifth in their Premier Division standings ahead of a mouthwatering Trafford Park contest.
Bitton, with new 19-year-old signing Liam Bishop from Hereford on dual registration terms fresh from his debut hat-trick exploits in the 5-0 away defeat of Bridport last weekend, and fellow striker Aysa Corrick, borrowed back from Yate Town, also expected to board the bus, approach the tie in useful form too, with four wins and a draw from five unbeaten league and cup appearances.
Their FA Vase run to date has been purposeful and uncompromising too, five rounds so far safely negotiated.
They incorporate a first round proper victory over visiting Tadley Calleva (6-1); more home triumphs at the expense of Gloucestershire compatriots Fairford Town (4-0) and Cribbs (2-1); a 3-1 win over plucky Toolstation First Division guests Warminster Town and a 2-1 last-16 success over Sutton Common Rovers, again in Bitton’s Bath Road backyard.
It means Langdon’s men, who have trousered £6,975 from their Vase mission so far and will pocket a further £4,125 if they overcome their Norfolk hosts; hit the road for the first time in their national competition campaign.
And a long one it is too comprising a round trip of some 500 miles, which meant the travelling party were due to set off on the Friday morning of the game ahead of an overnight stay and that last-eight cruncher with Wroxham.
A coach full of 52 supporters, all of whom were offered a free seat as a token of gratitude by the club for their backing, was due to depart at 7.30am on the day of the game.
Langdon said: “Wroxham have been expecting a bumper crowd of around 1,000 with nearby Norwich City playing on the Friday night. An outside temporary catering bar has been put in helped by big sponsorship.
“It’s massive for them and for us too as it’s the biggest game in our history, a nice thing from a personal perspective as Bitton’s current manager. Everyone’s buzzing and the players are being treated like celebrities down here!
“We are going into it as underdogs; you only have to look at the pedigree of their management, which includes Adam Drury, a popular former Norwich defender, and the fact Grant Holt, another Norwich legend, plays for them upfront, to know what we’re up against.
“But we’ll give it our absolute all: it’s a big stage and perfect chance for people to be heroes.”