Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Arngrove Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Arngrove Northern League

Article excerpt

Byline: MALCOLM PRATT

AN added incentive for N ew castle Benfield Bay Plastics and Whitley B ay in today's delayed FA Carlsberg Vase Fourth Round ties is they will play each other in the quarter-finals if they win at Truro City and Slimbridge, respectively.

Benfield were saved the long journey into Cornwall last Friday but Whitley Bay arrived in Gloucestershire only to find their game had to be postponed.

"We were just getting on the coach when word came through the tie was off but the forecast is better and hopefully today's match will go ahead," said Benfield's assistant manager Paddy Atkinson.

Phil Lumsden, who played for Darlington Reserves against Doncaster earlier in the week, travelled with the squad.

Whitley Bay were given dispensation by the FA to stay last night in Birmingham. The normal criterion is for clubs to locate within 30 miles of the ground, but having their base in Birmingham meant players did not have to lose a day's work since they were able to travel last night.

"Obviously, it would have been difficult if we had to again make the entire journey yesterday. We will move on to Slimbridge in the morning," reported official Peter Fox. Slimbridge have been in electrifying form in the last couple of weeks having won their last three matches by margins of 11-1, 7-1 and 4-1. Fox added: "Our manager Ian Chandler went down and watched them play and is confident we can give them a good game even though we'll be minus Tony Woodhouse and Gary Cook who are both cup-tied."

Sunderland Nissan, without a fixture last weekend, are now only five points ahead of Billingham Town at the top of the Arngrove Northern League First Division. The Wearsiders are at home to Tow Law Town and manager Wilf Constantine is pleased to have Jon Cullen and Gary Pearson returning to the squad following injuries.

Second-top Billingham Town, who have a game in hand on the Wearsiders, line up against West Allotment Celtic with injured Andrew Burton their only absentee. With Whitley Bay on Vase duty, Shildon will move into third position if they defeat Ashington at Portland Park. …

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