Nomads face the Dickens of a tie

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The Independent Online
Non-League football

Mixing it with the big guns in this weekend's last-16 stage of the FA Carlsberg Vase are some little clubs for whom reaching the fifth round is a rare adventure. One such outfit are Anstey Nomads, from the Leicestershire Senior League, who have reached this round for the first time and travel to Essex to meet Collier Row tomorrow.

Although Nomads are members of a lowly county league, the Romford-based home club will not underestimate them, as they won at North Ferriby United, title chasers in the Northern Counties East League, in the last round. Collier Row, currently second in the Icis League Second Division and with the former West Ham midfielder, Alan Dickens, in their squad, will be expected to win but, as Phil Ford, a Nomads committee member and player, said yesterday: "We don't think they're any better than the other sides we have beaten in this run."

Torpoint have a tough task at one of last season's beaten semi-finalists, Raunds. The little Cornish club earned their trip to Northamptonshire with an unexpected win at Lymington in the last round. The other last- four losers last term, Belper, are at home to Clitheroe, a Lancashire team who, like Anstey and Torpoint, started their run in the second qualifying round.

At the other end of Essex from Collier Row, Wivenhoe Town meet another fancied side, Mangotsfield United, from Bristol. The strongest Essex challenge, however, may come from Canvey Island, who took Brighton to a replay in the first round of the FA Cup. Their tie away to Thamesmead Town will be played on Sunday (3pm) at Slade Green FC, as Thamesmead's Bayliss Avenue ground has been deemed inadequate for the anticipated large crowd.