Purfleet plotting a surprise reprise

Non-League notebook
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The Independent Online
Non-League notebook


One club hoping to spring another surprise in tomorrow's second round of the FA Umbro Trophy are the Essex outfit, Purfleet. In the first round proper they travelled to the formidable Nene Park stadium, the home of wealthy Rushden & Diamonds, runaway leaders of the Beazer Homes League and virtual certainties for promotion to the GM Vauxhall Conference.

Few gave Purfleet, bottom of the Icis League Premier Division, a chance - but, undaunted by a crowd of almost 2,000, they pulled off a 1-0 win to progress to the second round for the first time in their history. Tomorrow, though - weather permitting - they face an even tougher task, for they must travel to Macclesfield Town, the Conference leaders.

Another Icis League side, Boreham Wood, entertain Dover. Promoted from the Icis First Division last summer, the Hertfordshire club have been enjoying a fine season in the Premier - they currently lie in fourth place - and include the former Luton and England striker, Brian Stein, in their regular line-up. Peter Taylor, another former England man who now manages Dover, knows his Boreham Wood counterpart, Bob Makin, well: Taylor signed Makin when he was at Dartford and then, when he moved on, Makin replaced him as manager.

The other big upset in the first round of the Trophy was Carshalton Athletic's defeat of the holders, Woking. Carshalton, another Icis League club, have home advantage again tomorrow, but they will not expect an easy ride against the experienced Welsh side, Newport AFC. Elsewhere, it may only be the second round of the Trophy, but Northwich Victoria are already going to Wembley - to meet the struggling Icis First Division team of that name.