Ashbrooke Belford House will relish their underdog tag when they face Jarrow in tomorrow morning’s Durham County Trophy final at Eppleton CW.
Manager Stu Burton says his side will be confident despite their opponents being heavy favourites to lift the silverware.
The Wearsiders go into the final as big underdogs, as Jarrow are sitting top of the TWR Bifolds Wearside League, just one point from clinching the title, while Ashbrooke are 15th following a disappointing run of results.
However, Burton claims that being tagged as underdogs can have a positive effect on his side.
He said: “The pressure is going to be on Jarrow as the favourite we can go out and play with a nothing-to-lose attitude.
“We’ve already beaten Jarrow this season in the league (2-0), so I think that’ll give the lads a confidence boost, knowing they’ve got the ability to beat them.”
Despite this, the Belford boys head into their biggest match since joining the Wearside League on a poor run of form.
“We’ve only won one out of our last nine games,” Burton explained. “Although we did win on Saturday against Prudhoe Town, so that’s given us a boost.
“All the lads are buzzing for it. I’d say we’ve saved our best performances for the cup this season.”
No matter what the score is come tomorrow, Burton is proud of his players for their efforts.
He said: “We’ve worked so hard as a team, and no matter what happens, I can 100% say every player has pulled their weight.”
The Sunderland side have won through four ties to reach the final, having beaten Harton and Westoe CW 3-0, neighbours Silksworth 4-3, Seaham Red Star Reserves 6-2 and, in the away semi-final, Coxhoe Athletic 3-1.
Jarrow boss Dave Bell knows Belford have the capacity to shock his men.
“We are looking forward to the game and the occasion but this will be a really difficult game,” he said.
“Ashbrooke beat us in the league just before Christmas, so we know what they are capable of.
“We are looking to continue our recent good form and again show the consistency in our work-rate that we have demonstrated all season. But we know this will be a hard game for us.
“We are delighted to be in the final and full credit to our lads for getting there having played some difficult ties, all away from home.”
The final kicks off at Eppleton CW at 11am.