UNBEATEN in all competitive games to date and with six successive wins, Whitley Bay FC face their toughest challenge of the season so far when they travel to Cumbria to face Kendal Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Kendal play two leagues above Bay and are among the front runners in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League premier division.
They suffered their first home defeat of the season on Saturday – 1-0 to Stafford Rangers.
Going into the game as underdogs, the pressure will be off Whitley, as it was last season when they travelled to another team in Kendal’s division, Nantwich, where the Bay pulled off a shock 3-2 victory.
Paul Chow is back from holiday and available for selection, as is Phill Bell, who also missed the game at Jarrow.
Gareth Williams is expected to have recovered from injury.
Two coach loads of Bay fans will be travelling to Kendal, with many others making the journey by car, so there should be no shortage of support for the Seahorses, who will be playing in their away colours of yellow.
Should the game end in a draw, the replay will take place at Hillheads on Tuesday evening, but if there is a winner on Saturday, Whitley will be travelling to West Auckland on Tuesday evening for another cup tie, in the first round of the Northern League Cup.
While Whitley have twice reached the semi-final of the League Cup in recent years, it is one trophy manager Ian Chandler has yet to win.
The reward for the winners of this game will be another away tie, this time at second division Horden CW.