FA Cup: On-song Washington confident ahead of Marine test

Washington (red) take on Runcorn Linnets in the FA Cup first qualifying round earlier this month
Washington (red) take on Runcorn Linnets in the FA Cup first qualifying round earlier this month
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They might be up against an Evo-Stik League Premier Division side tomorrow, but there’s no reticence about Washington ahead of their visit to Marine in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Boss Steven Hutchinson said ahead of arguably the club’s biggest game in years: “I know they are several steps up the pyramid from us, but they have only won twice this season and I’m confident we will be good enough to at least hold on for a replay.”

The Mechanics’ only defeat in all competitions came at the hands of Penrith in the Cameron Brewery Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup on Tuesday night, when Hutchinson took the decision to leave out six regulars.

He explained: “It’s been a tough start to the season and, with a journey to Liverpool tomorrow, I needed to give a number of the lads a break.

“They are all back and I know the squad will give it a real go at Marine.”

Washington have signed Connor Okus from Durham City, who made his debut on Tuesday night, but he is cup-tied for the Marine match.

Three other clubs will be flying the flag for the Northern League.

Consett have home advantage over Bradford Park Avenue and boss Colin Myers is hoping that his experience gained when Blyth Spartans enjoyed success last season, will help him to overcome the Yorkshiremen.

He said: “I know quite a bit about them and we’ve worked in training this week on combating their style of play. There’s a real buzz around the Belle View Stadium and I’m confident we can beat them.”

Whitley Bay entertain Congleton Town and manager Paddy Atkinson will need to take stock of his weary troops before announcing the squad.

“It’s less than a fortnight since we beat Matlock Town in the previous round, a tie which went to extra time and penalties,” he said.

“We played a fair bit of that game with nine men and the lads were absolutely shattered at the end.

“I’ll have to make sure that only those who are 100 per cent fit play.”

Newton Aycliffe are at home to North Ferriby United, while Evo-Stik League Division One North fliers Spennymoor Town welcome Burscough to the Brewery Field.