Poole stand in way of history

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WHITLEY Bay FC manager Ian Chandler got what he wanted from Monday’s FA Carlsberg Vase semi-final draw – the second leg at home.

Bay were drawn against Poole Town, who they beat in the fourth round of the competition 3-1 at Hillheads last season.

Now all that stands in the way of the Seahorses and the chance of a record-breaking third Vase win in a row at Wembley is the double header.

Bay head to Dorset for the first leg on Saturday, March 26, with the return at Hillheads a week later, which pleases Chandler.

He said: “It worked in our favour last year when we won 3-2 as we needed the fans because we were dead on our feet until Robbo (Paul Robinson) scored the winner. But being at home in the second leg is only okay as long as you are still in the tie.”

Chandler also feels having played Poole last year is an advantage.

“When you look at their squad about nine players were part of the team we played,” he said.

“We have an idea of what they are like.”

Poole, currently second in the Wessex Premier League with six games in hand on leaders Winchester, knocked Northern League Spennymoor out of the competition in the fifth round, and their manager Jason Ainsley has already been in touch with Bay offering information.

The Moors’ former Bay defender Leon Ryan has also been in touch with former team-mates to say he believes they can win the tie.

n Match report – page 86