MELKSHAM Town's bid to reach the semi-finals of the FA Vase this coming weekend has been given some big-name backing - by FA Cup-winning manager Harry Redknapp.

The former West Ham and Spurs boss, who lifted the top domestic trophy with Portsmouth in 2008, spoke to Town boss Kieran Baggs to offer his good wishes ahead of their quarter-final clash with Hellenic League Thatcham Town at Oakfields on Saturday.

Redknapp, 70, got in touch with Baggs on the phone after hearing from a friend that the Wiltshire club is just two games away from their own Wembley final.

Baggs said: "I had a call from a good friend of mine who is close with Harry Redknapp.

"Harry talked to me and wished the club luck for this weekend. It was nice to hear."

Melksham exited the Les Phillips Cup 2-1 against Brislington last weekend, Tyler Sibbick on target as Baggs resting several key players in preparation for this weekend's Vase fixture - the biggest in the club's history.

Having already netted £8,250 in prize money, Melksham stand to scoop a further £4,125 should they topple Thatcham - who are unbeaten in 23 games but Baggs is under no illusions as to how tough Saturday's quarter-final - which is expected to be watched by another four-figure crowd - will be.

"I went to watch Thatcham not long ago and they cruised to a 3-0 win on that occasion," said Baggs.

"They're a very good football side. It's going to be a tough afternoon and their record speaks for itself.

"But if we perform in top gear then we stand a chance.

"The Vase is a big game for us so we did rest several first team players on Saturday against Brislington.

"Yes we would've liked to advance in the cup our run but the Vase is a bigger prize for us. We had to be realistic with what we're trying to achieve."

Baggs' men remain well in the hunt for promotion from the Toolstation League Premier Division, having secured 51 points from 25 games thus far, leaving them third, eight points adrift of leaders Street.

Baggs added: "The Vase has been good fun for us. It's definitely inspired our form in the league.

"Our season started off shakily. But this cup run has done the trick. We're now third in the league and in the race for promotion.

"Added to that we can keep dreaming about the Vase. We're prepared and ready.

"Every time the draw has happened the players have responded, both playing at home and away. They deserve a tremendous amount of credit.

"We'll give everything possible for the club and the supporters.

"Thatcham are a tough team to face but we're two games away from Wembley. We'll make sure to get in their faces."

Gates for Saturday's Vase tie, which kicks off at 3pm, open at 11am, with car parking limited to 250 spaces and supporters urged to get dropped off or walk to Oakfields if possible.

A burger van will be situated inside the ground and hot food will also be available in the stadium's SkyBar from noon, with extra security on duty as well as portable toilet facilities available for all supporters.