Football / Non-League Notebook: Wimborne must overcome Aldershot to find way back to Wembley

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The Independent Online
IF Wimborne Town are to emulate their performance of two years ago and win the FA Vase, they will have to do it the hard way, writes Rupert Metcalf. In tomorrow's fifth round, the Dorset club face a daunting trip to Aldershot Town, where a 3,000-plus crowd is likely.

The Shots, who have known little but success since they rose from the ashes of the Hampshire town's former Football League club in 1992, are tipped by many to win the Vase in their first season in the tournament, but they will not have an easy ride tomorrow. Wimborne, with an 11-point lead at the top of the Jewson Wessex League, may have lost the management team that took them to success at Wembley, but they remain formidable opposition.

In the third round, the Magpies gained an impressive 4-3 win at Clevedon Town, of the Beazer Homes League. 'It's a tough task, going to Aldershot,' Ken Holloway, Wimborne's secretary, said yesterday, 'but they're no better than Clevedon. We'll take several hundred people with us, too, so they won't have it all their own way on the terraces.'

Now that the Vase has reached the last-16 stage, Wembley looms large. 'There is much excitement within the club and the town,' Holloway said. An extended run in the tournament would also help Wimborne raise money needed to fund the work required to bring their Cuthbury ground up to Beazer standards.

Alex Pike and Nick Jennings, the management team when Wimborne won the Vase, have moved on to their Wessex League rivals, Bournemouth FC. Kevin Mulkern, a former Salisbury, Hitchin and St Albans defender, now leads the Magpies' quest for another league and Vase double.

Elsewhere in the Vase, the two sides who can boast unbeaten records in the Great Mills Western League both have away ties. Tiverton (last season's beaten finalists) are at Dunkirk, a Nottingham club, while Taunton, for whom Andy Perrett has scored 44 goals this season, are just up the road at Belper. Diss entertain their Norfolk rivals, King's Lynn, while wealthy Newbury, who are competing with Aldershot for the Diadora Second Division title, are at Hinckley Athletic.

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