UNKNOWN quantities stand between Melksham Town and Bradford Town and a place in the last 16 of the FA Vase after the Toolstation League Premier Division sides both triumphed in the third round of the competition this week.

Bradford Town’s reward for a thumping 4-0 win at home to Wessex League Premier Division side Team Solent is a trip to the Isle of Wight to take on Newport, also of the Wessex Premier, in the fourth round.

Melksham needed a 2-0 replay win over Toolstation Premier rivals Bridgwater Town on Monday after Saturday’s original tie ended 2-2 and now host Southern Counties East League Premier Division outfit Crowborough Athletic.

Although he has little knowledge of the challenge that awaits his side, Melksham manager Kieran Baggs hopes to reap the benefits of home advantage when the fourth round ties take place on January 6.

“Crowborough are a team we know absolutely nothing about but we will have someone go down to watch them before we play them to make sure we learn as much as we can,” said Baggs.

“There is no point in going into a game blind, you want to know as much about your opponents as possible.

“The Vase is a great competition to be involved in and it’s great for the players to play in front of the bigger crowds.

“Our fans are fantastic and we always get great support anyway but in these Vase games you do just feel a little bit of an extra buzz, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage being at home.”

By contrast, a lengthy away day to the Isle of Wight is far from ideal for Bradford but with the Bobcats having lost just four of 21 games in all competitions this season, boss Danny Greaves is not daunted by the task ahead.

“I’m absolutely delighted to get through to the fourth round. It’s the fourth year in a row we have achieved that as a club so we’re all really pleased,” said Greaves.

“We have been going over the travel arrangements already and it’s going to be a long day but that’s part of it and we will prepare for that.

“We like a good away day and we have a fair few people following us. Newport are in the same league as Solent, who we beat in the last round, and have a similar record.

“We shouldn’t fear anyone, that’s what we are trying to instil in the group. It is all about us and what we do. We have a good squad and any changes we make to the team, whoever comes in won’t weaken us.

“We are in good form and if we play as well as we are capable of, we know we are a match for anyone, although at this stage of the competition, I’m sure every team will be saying that.”