WITH just short of £2,000 at stake for the winners, tomorrow is a big day for those clubs involved in the FA Cup, writes Malcolm Pratt.
That’s a fact acknowledged by Durham City manager Adam Furness ahead of his team’s Preliminary Round tie against Morpeth Town at New Ferens Park.
He said: “It’s a big incentive and we’ll certainly be doing everything we can to win the game. Morpeth will arrive in good spirits after a strong win over Billingham Synthonia and they have players we must respect.
“Having said that, we had two excellent results recently and our squad is confident so we’re really looking forward to the day.
“Hopefully, there’ll be a good turn-out by our fans to help us reach the next round.”
Furness goes without Craig Ellison and Joe Hughes but Mark O’Dea and Gareth Young could return to the squad.
Morpeth, aiming to consolidate after gaining promotion to the First Division, had an excellent result in the last round but boss Nick Gray accepts it will be more difficult tomorrow.
“I know Adam Furness and he’ll have them well organised but we go there on a high after winning two of our last three games. There are no easy games in the ENL but it’s the FA Cup tomorrow and we all know anything can happen,” said Gray.
Morpeth have signed Stephen Forster from Jarrow Roofing but he is cup-tied.
An interesting tie is in prospect when Jarrow Roofing, who are fourth-top in Division Two, have home advantage over First Division side Dunston UTS.
“Dunston are a good team but it’s the Cup and we’ll be going all out to get a result at the first attempt,” enthused Roofing Manager Richie McLoughlin, who welcomes the return of Kevin Leighton and Dean Nicholson.
Ashington, who thumped Pontefract Collieries 9-0 in the last round, face a stiffer challenge when they go to Scarborough Athletic who are higher in the pyramid.
Manager Gary Middleton, though, is unfazed saying: “Obviously it’s going to be tough but we travel full of confidence after a couple of wins last weekend and with Craig Scott back, I’ve got a full-strength squad to choose from.”
South Shields are unhappy that their tie against Albion Sports in Leeds has been put back until Sunday.
“We are totally disadvantaged since I’ll probably be without a few players. They ground-share with Farsley Celtic who have priority. We offered to play tonight when we would have had a better team out but Farsley wouldn’t agree.
“We contacted the FA but they said it was in the rules that ties could be switched to another date. I’ve no problem with this providing both teams agree,” said Mariners’ manager Jon King.