RYHOPE CW manager Gary Pearson reckons his side is in with a chance of upsetting the form book in tomorrow’s FA Carlsberg Vase first qualifying round tie at Jarrow Roofing.
The newly-promoted Ryhope side have enjoyed an excellent return to the Northern League Second Division, but face arguably their toughest challenge of the season so far away to the Boldon-based First Division outfit.
Pearson said: “We’ve won five of our Ebac Northern League Second Division games and I can’t grumble with the start we’ve made.
“Jarrow have assembled a good side, but we are not going there scared and it is a winnable match.”
A blow, though, is the unavailability of centre-half Steve Oakley.
“He’s a big player for us, but, fortunately, Phil Hall is back and he will galvanise the defence,” added Pearson, who also names Chris Trewick. Martin Metcalfe and James Cook, however, are injury concerns.
Roofing are unlikely to have Alex White in their squad and John Campbell is given only a 50-50 chance of playing. Kieran Whitehead comes into contention.
Sunderland RCA aim for a Vase boost amid their troubles at the foot of Division One when they visit Second Division side Darlington RA.
Chester-le-Street boss Colin Wake envisages a tough task in their home tie with Knaresborough Town.
He said: “They only lost to West Allotment Celtic by the odd goal last Saturday when they played for more than an hour with 10 men. We’ve got to find some consistency and build on what has been a solid but unspectacular start to the season.
“We haven’t been able to replace our main striker from last season, Damien Stevens. Hopefully, I’ll have someone in before tomorrow’s match.”
The Cestrians welcome back Jamie Perry, Elliott Salicki, Ben Johnson and Danny Hepplewhite, but David Surrey, Jordan Fraser and Michael Hepplewhite are ruled out.
Birtley Town manager Tony Boakes reckons his side can progress against Thornaby in an all-Second Division clash.
He said: “They beat us 3-1 at their place on the opening day, but since then we have done OK and I’m ahead of where I expected to be at this stage.”
Boakes, who took over the reins during the summer following four years with Prudhoe Town, cannot call upon Lee Best, Alan Herbert or Mattie Soulsby.
Following their big win in midweek, South Shields are confident for their “home” tie with Willington at Peterlee, but they will need to sign a goalkeeper before kick-off.
Aidan Grant is having a second trial with Peterborough United and Brett Wilson is suspended.
The Mariners could have Lee Maitland, David Halliday, Alex Kempster and Adam Sharp back, while James Pickering hopes to beat an injury concern. Aron Burn and Kyle Houshby are on holiday.
North Shields, second in Division One during their first season back in the top flight after 25 seasons, go to Northallerton with David Morton set to deputise for injured goalkeeper Michael Robinson.
Hebburn Town also have a goalkeeping problem with Gary Rogers doubtful for the visit of Marske United. If he is unable to turn out, Phil Holgate will take over. In addition, manager Scott Oliver awaits news on leading scorer Shannon North.
Consett, who have kept five consecutive clean sheets, are favourites to see off North East Counties League side Thackley at the Belle View Stadium even though neither Ryan Bell nor Scott Martindale are available.
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