Whitley Bay’s new management duo will face some tough tests in the coming weeks, starting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) when Morpeth Town visit Hillheads in the much delayed Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup quarter-final.
Morpeth are the region’s last surviving side in the FA Vase with victory in Hertfordshire on Saturday putting them into the quarter-finals.
They are also challenging for the league title.
Whitley Bay go into the game without Richard Flynn, who is serving a one-match suspension.
On Saturday Whitley are back in league action when they host local rivals North Shields, kick-off 3pm, in the North Tyneside derby.
The game is always an eagerly awaited fixture and is guaranteed to attract one of the biggest crowds of the season.
Whitley will be hoping to complete a league double over the Robins, having recorded a 2-1 victory at the Daren Persson Stadium back in September.
Alex Kempster and Sam Norris gave them a two-goal lead at half-time before former Bay captain David Coulson reduced the arrears early in the second period.
Coulson is no longer at North Shields, having recently joined Durham City, but there is still a significant Whitley connection in the Robins’ camp.
Former Bay FA Vase winner Gary Ormston, goalkeeper Sean McCafferty, who had a brief spell at Whitley last season, and Ryan McGorrigan could all play their part, while the management team includes another Bay Vase winner in Brian Smith as well as former Whitley Bay striker Andy Bowman.
Home fans who have been starved of games during the bad weather of the last two months can look forward to a third consecutive game at Hillheads next Tuesday evening when Newton Aycliffe are the visitors.
The County Durham side are the surprise package of the season so far and are in the running for the championship having been beaten only twice away from home. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.