Football / Non-League Notebook: Telford on the march

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THE MOST successful side in the history of the FA Trophy launch their quest for a sixth visit to Wembley tomorrow, encouraged by a fine run of form which has seen them escape the Conference relegation zone for the first time since September, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Telford United's record of five appearances in the Trophy final is unmatched, and only Scarborough can equal their tally of three victories in the tournament. This season, however, the Shropshire club have been diverted by the threat of dropping out of the Conference for the first time since the league was formed in 1979. When Gerry Daly, the former Manchester United midfielder, was dismissed in October, George Foster, previously in charge at Mansfield Town, was given the task of bringing back the good times to the Buck's Head.

After a slow start, Foster's methods are working. Telford are unbeaten for six games. 'We've been unbeaten at home since I arrived,' Foster said yesterday, 'but we've had problems turning superiority into goals.' He has signed two players from his former club, Mansfield - Gary Ford, an experienced winger, and Steve Foster, a young defender - otherwise he has relied on the squad he inherited from Daly. Tomorrow Telford face Northallerton Town, from the Northern League.

Yeovil, who entertain Bath, are likely to confirm today that Phil Ferns, their caretaker player-manager, can drop the 'caretaker' tag, after John King, the former Altrincham manager, rejected an offer to move to Somerset from his job as No 2 at Bury. Last weekend Ferns led Yeovil to a 3-2 win (after being 2-0 down) at the league leaders, Kidderminster - a game in which Ferns was sent off in the closing stages.