September 25th, 2016

Town gear up for a testing Vase encounter

ALCESTER Town boss James Robbins says his side face a stern challenge on Saturday when they travel to West Midlands Regional League Division One outfit Wrens Nest for a Birmingham Saturday Vase second round encounter.

However, Robbins is relishing the clash as Town – who reached the last eight of the competition last season – bid to topple the 2014/15 beaten finalists, who are based in Wall Heath near Dudley.

“I’m expecting a tough game on Saturday. I believe Wrens Nest will be a big, strong outfit, but it’s a game I am looking forward to,” said Robbins.

“They got to the final of this competition last season and will I’m sure be looking to go one further this time around.

“Of course, climbing the league is our main priority, however progress in the cup competitions is always welcome as it breeds confidence and that can only be beneficial to take into our league campaign.

“Other than the Smithswood game, our performances of late have been very good and we will be looking to carry that into Saturday.”

Town have been boosted by the arrival of former Racing Club Warwick captain and Southam United player Mark Briggs who could make his debut this weekend, although they must do without top scorer Matt Layton who is out for a fortnight with an ankle injury.

Long-term absentee Kevin Gilbert is still out and not expected to play again before Christmas.

Robbins added: “Mark (Briggs) is a player I have been chasing all season. I played with him at Racing Club Warwick and he was outstanding, two levels above us.

“He is a leader, he is versatile and he is a good footballer. I was delighted to finally get him on board and persistence has certainly paid off on this occasion.

“Mark can play anywhere across the back line or in the centre of midfield.”

Town’s scheduled Saturday home game against Boldmere Sports & Social Falcons in the quarter-final of the Challenge Vase was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Robbins’ men return to Midland League Division Three action at Perrywood on Saturday, November 28.

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