Tough end to the year for Bay with visit of Benfield

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WHITLEY Bay FC will be back in Northern League action on Boxing Day.

They travel to Newcastle Benfield for a 3pm kick-off in what will be their last game of the year.

Benfield traditionally provide tough opposition and last season the corresponding game ended in a 0-0 draw.

But both sides will be hoping to provide goal scoring entertainment for what is expected be a large holiday crowd.

Whitley will have Callum Anderson available again having completed his two-match suspension, but Chris Fawcett remains suspended.

LeePaul Scroggins, who came off the bench against South Shields, may make the starting line-up, but other injured players Craig McFarlane, Gareth Williams and Gary Ormston are unlikely to be ready to return before the New Year.

After a hugely successful 2011, the FA Vase holders begin 2012 with a visit to the side they beat in last season’s quarter-final when they travel to Dunston UTS on Tuesday, January 3, kick off 7.30pm.

The two sides met on the opening day of the season when Whitley lost a two goal lead to draw 2-2.

Dunston are a side against whom Whitley have a better away than home record and they will be hoping to maintain that in what will be one of their toughest games of the season.

Good news for Whitley is that, assuming the Boxing Day fixture goes ahead, Chris Fawcett will be available for this game after completing his three-match suspension.