Whitley Bay begin bid for FA Cup glory

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The new football season is just one week old but already teams are gearing up for the 2014-15 FA Cup.

The extra preliminary round gets the world’s most famous cup competition under way this weekend with 184 ties taking place across the length and breadth of England.

Whitley Bay face a 100-mile trip down the coast to Yorkshire where they will take on Bridlington Town from the Northern Counties East League.

The clubs met at the same stage of the competition two years ago when Whitley returned home with a 2-1 victory, one of the goals coming, perhaps inevitably, from Paul Chow.

The Bay talisman also scored in the extra preliminary round last season, but on that occasion it was in a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Team Northumbria.

Whitley will be anxious to avoid an early exit from the competition this year, as apart from the obvious prestige gained from a good cup run, success can also be financially rewarding.

The winners on Saturday receive £1,500 prize money and the rewards grow steadily with each round.

The draw for the next stage of the competition has already been made and Whitley know that if they can overcome Bridlington they will have a home tie.

However, Saturday’s game will be far from easy, especially as Whitley look likely to be missing several key players through injury and unavailability.

The Supporters’ Club have a full coach travelling to the game and more fans will be making their own way to the Queensgate ground, so there will be no lack of support for the team.

In the event of a draw, the replay will take place at Hillheads on Tuesday evening, kick- off 7.45pm, but if there is a winner on Saturday, Whitley are scheduled to take on Newcastle Benfield in a league fixture on Tuesday, also at Hillheads but with a 7.30pm kick-off.