Seaham Red Star are hoping for their biggest crowd in years when they line up against Maltby Main in the second round of the FA Carlsberg Vase tomorrow.
Their Yorkshire visitors are 16th in the Northern Counties East League’s Premier Division, so Seaham will fancy their chances.
With no Sunderland game, Red Star hope for good support from local football fans.
“We would like fans to turn up and give the team their backing,” said secretary David Copeland.
“It’s a huge day for the club and it would be great if we can get a result.
“We went down to South Yorkshire to run the rule over them, but the game was abandoned after only seven minutes so they are very much an unknown quantity.”
Unfortunately for manager Mark Collingwood, three players are ineligible. Recent signings Lewis Wing, Craig Lynch and Jack Walker played for their previous clubs in the competition.
Carl Thorpe definitely returns and Collingwood is hopeful that Chris Scott will also be available.
Sunderland RCA travel to South Yorkshire for their tie with Hemsworth Miners Welfare and manager Martin Swales is confident that, if the Wearsiders make a good start, they’ll return with a win under their belts.
He said: “I’ve watched them and firmly believe we are in with a chance. It will be great if we get through, because the competition then goes national.”
Keeper James Talbot, on loan from Sunderland, is not allowed to play in the Vase, so Jordan Harkess should start, while Glen Lane and Jack Pounder are cup-tied.
Further problems for Swales are that Clayton Davis and Joe Hughes are injured, while James Armstrong will need his fitness assessed before the squad is finalised.
There’s an interesting tie at the Belle View Stadium between First Division Consett and South Shields, who are odds-on favourites to clinch the Second Division championship.
“They are absolutely buzzing, unbeaten for 17 games and this could be our toughest test of the season,” said Consett boss Colin Myers.
He has Mattie Slocombe available and could make a signing before kick-off but there is a worrying injury list which includes Dan Hawkins, Kieran Megran, Ryan Bell and Michael Mackay.
Although Lewis Teasdale is banned and Ben Riding given only a 50-50 chance of recovering from a back injury, South Shields are buoyant.
Their manager, Jon King, claims his players are going into the tie with loads of confidence, and, with a big following of travelling supporters, there’s no doubt the Mariners will prove formidable opponents to the Steelmen in front of a big crowd.
Two teams who know all about winning the Vase meet at Hillheads, where four-time winners Whitley Bay host Dunston UTS, who lifted the Trophy in 2012.
Whitley manager Paddy Atkinson expects Richard Flynn and Steve Gibson to play, but doubts surround goalkeeper Andrew Jennison and Chris Reid.
His opposite number, Billy Irwin, misses the suspended Adam Wilkinson and is pleased that Andy Clarke has rejoined the squad after being unavailable last week.
Clarke could be needed if first-choice stopper Liam Connell fails to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained in the midweek fixture at Guisborough.
Holders North Shields begin their defence of the trophy at home to Ashington, unable to name Denver Morris, Adam Forster and Dean Holmes, who all played in the 2-1 victory over Glossop North End at Wembley in May.
Ashington manager Steve Harmison names his brother Ben in the side, but another sibling, James, is a definite non-starter.
The game will be a reunion for father Jimmy, who played for North Shields when they memorably defeated Halifax Town in the FA Cup back in the 1980s.
Leaders Morpeth Town have taken no chances before hosting 1874 Northwich.
Manager Nick Gray has watched his opponents twice and reckons it will be a tough game but that home advantage could be a big factor. Morpeth hope to field their strongest line-up but have doubts over Jordan Fry and Chris Swailes.
Guisborough Town entertain Team Northumbria, Marske United are at home to Runcorn Linnets and Newton Aycliffe travel into Lancashire for their tie with Colne.