BOSS Steve Appleby thinks Wisbech Town will face a side very similar to themselves in tomorrow’s FA Vase showdown with St Ives Town.

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The Fenmen travel to Westwood Road to take on the United Counties League leaders in the most eagerly anticipated tie of the second round.

They will not encounter departed Saints hotshots Conor Washington (now Newport County) or Ricky Miller (now Stamford) - but they will need to keep the free-scoring Karl Gibbs quiet.

“I think the two sides are very similar,” said Appleby. “They’ve had Washington, Miller and now Gibbs but we’ve got our own goalscorers in Chris Bacon and Dubi Ogbonna.

“It doesn’t matter who they chuck on that pitch, we know we will face a good side. They know they will be facing the same.

“It’s a good battle and it bodes well for a fantastic game.”

Appleby’s troops go into the game on the back of a 4-1 win over Thetford Town on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Saints were playing out a disappointing 0-0 draw with Long Buckby - a result which prompted their joint boss Jez Hall to try and sign a striker.

Hall said: “We’re very hopeful of finding someone to come in for the game against Wisbech but if not, we will have to have a look at the way we play.

“Our defence is tight and that doesn’t worry me but Wisbech have three very good forwards in Bacon, Ogbonna and Deakan Napier. It will be a tough game.”

Defenders Paul Cousins, Anthony Reeve and Jon Fairweather are suspended for tomorrow’s clash.

Appleby is hoping to have dual-registered Boston United defender Lewis Sturman available and he is still confident of containing the Saints.

He said: “Neal Spafford has been outstanding this season and Stacy Cartwright came back from injury on Saturday and looked like he’d never been away. We’ve got enough to cope with them.”

More than 500 fans are expected to watch the FA Vase tie.

Appleby said: “There’s no denying it’s a big game but the league is my priority.

“The Vase is just a shot at glory. It’s a chance to achieve something you dreamed of when you were little, playing in cup finals at Wembley. That is a realistic opportunity for both us and St Ives.”

Bookmakers BetVictor have installed St Ives as 8/11 favourites for the clash, with Wisbech priced at 10/3.

“I think I’d have a punt on us at that price,” added Appleby.

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