Bay against Terriers the tie of the round in FA Vase

Leon Ryan with the FA Vase in 2010.
Leon Ryan with the FA Vase in 2010.

The FA Vase first round ties take place on Saturday with Whitley Bay featuring in the tie of the round.

They make the short journey to fellow Northern League side Bedlington Terriers, who are currently fifth in the table.

Both sides have considerable pedigree in the competition with Whitley being four times winners of the competition while the Terriers were finalists in 1999 and have reached the semi-finals on more than one occasion since then.

Bedlington have enjoyed the better start to the current season and were in the top three until last week before losing their last two games, most notably suffering a 7-2 defeat at league leaders West Auckland on Saturday.

Terriers are currently nine points clear of mid-table Bay but have played three more games.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that both sides will be significantly below full strength due to suspensions.

Whitley will be without Chris Reid and Michael Laws while Bedlington have three players suspended, so the outcome of the tie could be decided by the strength in depth of the respective squads.

Bay, who gained a morale boosting win at Guisborough last weekend, look likely to bring in Craig Smith and Marc Ellison, who were both among the substitutes in North Yorkshire, while Jonny Godsmark may also feature in the starting line-up.

This will be the second time the sides have met this season, with Whitley emerging 2-1 victors in an early season league fixture at Welfare Park.

That evening, all the goals came late in the game along with three red cards.

Both sides will be anxious to keep all 11 players on the pitch in this game, which would go to extra time should the scores be level after 90 minutes.

If there is still no winner, there would be a replay at Hillheads on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.30pm, when the tie would have to be decided, if necessary by penalties.

A big following of Bay fans is assured as they look to lift their side and continue the dream of yet another successful FA Vase run.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Whitley Bay FC will be holding a fireworks display at Hillheads Park, starting at 7.30pm.

Gates open at 6.30pm and admission is £3.Tickets are available from the Seahorse clubhouse and also at Beckman’s News in Hillheads Road and from Station News at Tynemouth Station.

Remaining tickets will be available on the gate.

Two days later on Friday, November 7, the club will be holding a players reunion night at the Seahorse Club, starting at 7.30pm.

All supporters are welcome to attend.