Non League Notebook: Bodmin lead the long-distance travellers

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The Independent Online
The status of the FA Carlsberg Vase as a truly national competition is reinforced by tomorrow's fourth-round ties, which see several of the 32 sides left in the tournament make huge journeys across England.

The Cornish club Bodmin Town have the longest expedition: an 822-mile round trip to Billingham Town, on Teesside. It is the Jewson South Western League outfit's first season in the Vase, and not surprisingly it is the longest distance they have ever travelled for a match.

Despite the cost, Bodmin are looking forward to their weekend away - they will be staying in a hotel in Stainton, near Middlesbrough, tonight and tomorrow. "It will be a unique experience for us," their secretary, Martin Mullis, said.

In contrast to Bodmin's two-night stop-over, Bedlington Terriers are making the trek from Northumberland to Suffolk to play Sudbury Wanderers within one day. They plan to leave Newcastle at 8am tomorrow, travelling by train as far as Cambridge, from where a coach will ferry them to Sudbury. They should be back in Newcastle by midnight.

"Some of our players are steelworkers, and cannot finish work in time to set off on Friday," Eric Young, the secretary of Bedlington, who are 15 points clear at the top of the Federation Brewery Northern League, explained. "We had planned to go to Sudbury via London, using the Underground to get across town, but we decided that was too risky."

There will be two Vase ties in Sudbury tomorrow. One mile down the River Stour from Wanderers' Brundon Lane ground, Sudbury Town entertain Burscough, from the North West Counties League, at the Priory stadium.