Shields prepare for tricky Seaham clash in FA Vase

No doubt North Shields boss Graham Fenton would have preferred to play a team from a different league and outside of the area.

But the Robins still travel with confidence on Saturday (3pm) to take on Northern Second Division leaders Seaham Red Star in the third round of the FA Vase.

Having already having seen off Northallerton, Stokesley, AFC Emley and Sunderland RCA it represents the most rousing run in a national competition for the Robins since the 1983-4 campaign.

Then it was the FA Trophy and Jim Pearson’s Shields side defeated Willington, Morecambe in a second replay then Workington and Durham City before finally bowing out at Barnet.

Whilst the Robins romped to the Second Division Championship last season suffering only four defeats, two of those were at the hands of Seaham who are currently unbeaten in 17 league matches.

Seaham’s Town Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the Tynesiders in recent years though they did relish a 1-0 verdict in a 2010 FA Cup tie when substitute Andy Wright proved the match-winner.

For Saturday’s clash Fenton will have to reckon without the injured trio of Stuart Donnison, Dean Walker and Peter Glen-Ravenhill though midfielder Michael McKeown could well line up against his former club.

Shields, still handily placed in fourth despite the recent postponement at Morpeth where the Craik Park pitch was declared waterlogged, were set to host Ashington on Wednesday then are scheduled to visit near neighbours Whitley Bay in a derby clash on Tuesday, December 9 (7.30pm) providing neither side is involved in a Vase replay.