Bay ready to get playing again with FA Vase contest

WHITLEY Bay FC are now preparing for their FA Vase third round encounter with West Midlands side Causeway United on Saturday having seen their last two games both fall victim to the wintry weather conditions.

Last Tuesday’s game against league champions Spennymoor Town was called off as the Hillheads pitch was waterlogged

Then on Saturday the game away to Sunderland RCA was also called off as frost compounded the problems caused by the week’s heavy rain.

These games would also have given summer signing Ian Watson, who has just recovered from a lengthy injury, the opportunity to make his debut and get some match practice ahead of the Vase game.

However, the silver lining is that defender Chris Reid, unavailable due to work commitments for the past three weeks, has missed fewer games than had been feared.

Causeway, based in Stourbridge,are making a long and rare journey to the region.

The Midland Alliance side are running into form after a poor start to the season and Whitley can expect a stern test.

Previous games against sides from their league have all been hard fought encounters, most recently the 2011 Vase final when Bay were pushed all the way before emerging 3-2 winners against Coalville Town.

In the previous season’s semi-final, Barwell gave Whitley an epic battle, with Paul Robinson’s last minute winner in the second leg giving Whitley a 6-5 aggregate victory.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, extra time will be played and if there is still no winner, a replay will be at Stourbridge the following Saturday.

If the game were to be called off, it would be rearranged for Saturday, December 15.

Meanwhile, Whitley are due to face their second cup tie in four days when Consett are the visitors to Hillheads on Tuesday, December 11, in the second round of the League Cup.

This is a competition in which games must be settled at the first attempt, even if penalties are required to decide the outcome.