Sunderland RCA boss Martin Swales reacts to FA Vase draw against ‘bogey side’ Shildon

Action from Shildon's win over RCA earlier this season.
Action from Shildon's win over RCA earlier this season.
Have your say

Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales was upbeat despite his side being handed an away tie at “bogey team” Shildon in the FA Vase Third Round.

The Northern League rivals were paired together at Dean Street on Saturday, December 1.

The two sides have already met in the league this season as Shildon came away from Meadow Park with a 2-0 win.

That win continued their dominance of fixtures between the two side and the Railwaymen have completed the league double over RCA in each of the last five seasons.

RCA’s last win in the fixture came in September 2013 as goals from Aristote Guerin-Lakonga, Carl Beasley and Richard Paxton gave them a 3-2 victory at Dean Street.

But Swales believes that there is no better time than an FA Vase tie to end that long wait for a win over Shildon.

“It’s not a great draw for us and we aren’t happy about it,” explained the RCA manager.

“Shildon are our bogey team and we haven’t beaten them for a while, they’ve just had something over us.

“We’ll obviously go up there and give it a good go.

“We are in good spirits at the moment and we are in good form, so we are full of confidence.

“We haven’t beaten them for a while, but what better time to burst their bubble than in an FA Vase tie.”

Swales admitted that if his side are serious about becoming Wearside’s first ever Vase winners then they have to find their waythrough some tough ties .

“We were saying ahead of the draw that we will have to beat some top sides if we are going to win the Vase,” he added. “Nobody gets to Wembley without being seriously tested.

“You have to come through testing ties likes this and that is exactly what we have to do.”

There was one other all-Northern League tie in the draw as Hebburn Town travel to last season’s beaten finalists Stockton Town.

Hebburn manager Scott Oliver said: “We didn’t want this tie and I am not sure Michael Dunwell down at Stockton would have wanted it either.

“It’s tough for both sides, but in a strange way it could work for us because I think we will be underdogs for once.

“They obviously got to last year’s final so have that experience behind them, but we also have a lot of Vase experience in our squad.”

Much-fancied West Auckland Town have been handed another away tie as they head to North West Counties First Division North promotion-chasers Avro.

And Newcastle Benfield also face North West opposition as they entertain Runcorn Town at Sam Smiths Park.

The winning clubs secure £1,125 in prize money.