FA Vase: Mechanics await tests on Stewart, Hennis for Brandon visit

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Washington are on a high after winning four and drawing one of their five Northern League fixtures, in addition to defeating AFC Darwen and West Auckland in the FA Cup.

The Mechanics go to Second Division Brandon United in the FA Vase tomorrow, with goalkeeper Josh Carmichael back in the squad, but neither Mick Tait nor Chris Winn can play.

Stephen Stewart and Craig Hennis will undergo fitness tests before boss Steven Hutchinson names his side.

Hutchinson said: “We’ve made a great start and I know we are favourites tomorrow, but Brandon have improved recently, so it will be no easy task.”

Three-time Vase winners Whitley Bay are at Willington and manager Paddy Atkinson insists that his team will approach the game like any other.

“I know that they are in the bottom half of the second division, but a cup tie often produces a level playing field so we have got to respect them,” said Atkinson.

“It’s all about having a positive attitude and how the two sides perform on the day.”

Atkinson is waiting to hear whether Phil Lumsden and Mark Bertram will be able to play.

Birtley Town host neighbours Chester-le-Street for the second time in four days and manager Tony Boakes will be hoping to reverse Wednesday’s result when the Cestrians won 4-3.

He said: “They beat us twice last season, so that’s three on the bounce they have won. It’s always tough against a good Chester side, but we are looking forward to having another crack at them”.

The Cestrians are boosted by the returnS of Michael Hepplewhite, Joe Hamblin, Craig Mickle, Stephen Wood and Lee Mole, but Danny Hepplewhite and Kevin Dixon are sidelined.