Buckby keep supporters’ hopes high for Vase success

LONG Buckby are among the 20-1 outsiders to win this season’s FA Vase competition which culminates in a Wembley Stadium final during May, even though the online betting is dominated by clubs from the Northern League and the UCL.

Skybet have Northern League title contenders Spennymoor as the 5-2 favourites closely followed by big-spending UCL counterparts St Neots Town at 3-1. Holders Whitley Bay are next best at 7-2 with King’s Lynn on the 6-1 mark.

The two short-priced UCL teams will clash in the last 16 this Saturday while Whitley Bay, winners of the Vase in 2009 and again last year, are no longer favourites to complete the hat-trick.

Ridgeons Eastern League high-flyers Leiston lie in wait this weekend for a Bucks outfit which, alone of the top four UCL clubs, has not applied for promotion at the end of the season.

St Neots, King’s Lynn and Newport Pagnell have all made applications for step four football but the Station Road facilities would need major financial investment to fulfil Southern League requirements.

Striker Danny Nelson could hold the key to the Bucks’ further advancement in the Vase competition after scoring the second-half winner in a 3-2 fourth round victory over Ashington last month.

Nelson also scored the winner when Daventry Town won a Vase tie at Leiston little more than a year ago and will therefore be Glenn Botterill’s only player with experience of having played at the Suffolk club.

Both teams were successful last weekend with the Bucks’ winning 2-1 at Irchester (see match report on page 87) while Leiston set up the Vase tie with a 4-0 away win against Histon Reserves to go top of the table.

The tie of the round though will see King’s Lynn take on St Neots after beating their opponents by 4-2 in a UCL game on Saturday to get within a point of the league leaders who had not lost a Premier Division match since October, 2009.

Full betting on the Vase is as follows: 5-2 Spennymoor, 3-1 St Neots Town, 7-2 Whitley Bay, 6-1 King’s Lynn, 10-1 Poole Town, 12-1 Coalville Town and Leiston, 16-1 Dunston UTS, 20-1 Rye Town, Long Buckby and Stansted, 25-1 Billingham Synthonia, Leverstock Green, Torpoint Athletic and Dunstable, 40-1 Holbrook Sports.