Mildenhall Town and Newmarket Town ready for FA Vase battle
Both Ricky Cornish and Michael Shinn are happy with how their respective sides are shaping up ahead of Saturday’s Buildbase FA Vase derby between Mildenhall Town and Newmarket Town at Recreation Way (3pm).
After a shaky start, Cornish’s new-look Mildenhall racked up four straight victories in all competitions before holding Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division title favourites Stowmarket Town to a 0-0 draw last weekend.
Such form has significantly improved the mood around the club after two seasons of struggle at Step 4, which last term culminated in relegation.
And Cornish is hoping that his team can further enhance that good feeling with a second qualifying round triumph over one of their rivals.
“We have started to get to where we need to be over the last few games,” said Cornish. “The first week or so was a bit of a shock to the system but this is a new group.
“We had a good pre-season and sometimes people expect things to happen immediately, but these things can take weeks or even months to come together.
“Thankfully we have got a good group and they are really enjoying playing alongside each other, which is now showing in the performances.
“It is a derby and it is going to be tough, but we want a run in the Vase. We are playing well and if we continue that on Saturday then we have a good chance.”
Neighbouring Newmarket, meanwhile, made it three wins in a row in all competitions on Tuesday by seeing off Ely City at the Demcom Stadium.
As well as that positive form, player-manager Shinn believes this weekend’s clash is the type of game that brings the best out of his players.
“It is a big game for people, but what we cannot do is get too excited about it being a derby,” he said.
“We want to make every game a big game because otherwise what is the point? The players need to want to be the best player on the pitch and then collectively you get a good performance.
“My boys tend to play at their peak in the big games against the best teams.
“We will go there full of confidence after putting up three wins on the bounce.”
In terms of team news Cornish has injury concerns over a handful of his squad – particularly in attacking areas – while Ben Robinson is likely to miss out for the visitors.