THE coming season will see North Shields FC celebrate the 30th anniversary of their famous FA Cup run highlighted by the stunning victory at Halifax Town.
On their way to earning a tie against another Football League outfit, Walsall, the Robins saw off Eppleton, Horden WC, Gateshead and Barrow before Bede McCaffrey scored that wonderful winner at the Shay.
That success etched the names of McCaffrey, keeper and player of the year Tony Harrison, Jimmy Harmison, Paul Ross, Ian Donaldson and the rest of boss Peter Flaherty’s squad in North Shields’ history.
The forthcoming 2012-13 campaign the Shieldsmen will be competing in the FA Cup before they have even put their boots on for a Northern League fixture.
Birtley Town will provide the opposition at the Daren Persson Stadium at Ralph Gardner Park on Saturday, August 11, in the extra preliminary round.
It all points to be another close encounter between the sides as the last four meetings between the sides have all ended in draws though the Robins did complete a league double in 2009-10.
The Northern League season commences on Saturday, August 18 with Graham Fenton’s lads visiting Jarrow Roofing.
Should the Shieldsmen be successful against Birtley, they would entertain either Liversedge or FA Vase runners-up West Auckland Town in the preliminary round on Saturday, August 25.
In the FA Vase qualifying round set for Saturday, September 1, Liversedge and North Shields have been paired, the Robins travelling to the Clayborn Ground in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire.
The clubs last met in 1992 when both competed in the Northern Counties East League.
That year Shields won the division, league and President’s Cup beating Liversedge 4-0 and 3-0 (President’s Cup) away and 2-0 home.
The Robins last came up against a Northern Counties East side in 2009 when they went down 3-2 to Pickering Town in the Vase, a match fondly remembered though by keeper Michael Robinson who notched Shields’ second goal.
A visit to Northern League first division side Shildon awaits the winners on Saturday, September 15.
The draw for the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Trophy has also been made with the Shieldsmen away to the victors in the Ryton and Crawcrook Albion and Washington clash.
The Robins play three warm up games in eight days starting at Team Northumbria on Saturday, 3pm, home to Whitley Bay on Wednesday, July 18, this match now kicking off at 7.30pm, and away to Gala Fairydean on Saturday, July 21, (2pm).