Northern League sides target FA Cup success

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EIGHT Ebac Northern League sides will be gunning for glory in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The only all-ENL tie is between third top Marske United and leaders Dunston UTS, whose manager Billy Irwin anticipates a tough afternoon at the seaside.

He said: “They are going well but so too are we and with eight consecutive wins under our belts I’m confident we can progress.”

Dunston’s only absentee is the injured Craig Hodgson.

The tie of the round could be at Heritage Park where Bishop Auckland lock horns with neighbours Spennymoor Town.

Bishops have won five and lost just one of their six league games while Jason Ainsley’s Moors have adapted well to life in the Evo Stik League First Division.

Consett face a difficult test at Evo Stik League opponents Workington and West Allotment Celtic also line up against a side higher in the pyramid when Lancaster City come to Tyneside.

Newcastle Benfield have Stephen Tobin back for their home encounter with Bridlington Town. Blistered feet sustained in the Great North Run ruled him out of the midweek fixture.

Ashington have injury concerns for captain Andrew Johnson, Lance McGlen and Kyle Oliver at home to Scarborough Athletic while Shildon, just a point adrift of leaders Dunston UTS, will hope to make home advantage count against Whitby Town who have stuttered in their opening Evo Stik League matches.