Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fa Carlsberg Vase/ebac Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fa Carlsberg Vase/ebac Northern League

Article excerpt

DUNSTON UTS will be aiming for a hat-trick of victories over West Auckland Town in the FA Carlsberg Vase when the sides again lock horns at the UTS Stadium this afternoon.

Two years ago, the Tynesiders lifted the trophy with a 2-0 win over their rivals at Wembley and last season they enjoyed a five-goal romp.

"With home advantage I'm confident we can reach the semi-finals. It's a massive game for both clubs but the lads are all looking forward to it, they cannot wait for kick-off," said manager Billy Irwin.

West Auckland assistant boss Paul Foster said: "I believe whoever wins will go to Wembley because the three Ebac Northern League teams for my money, are the best of the eight still in the competition."

Newcastle Benfield travelled to Leicestershire yesterday for their quarter-final tie against St Andrews and manager Steve Bowey is confident he has done his homework.

"I've spoken to two managers who played them in earlier rounds, I've also had a DVD," he said.

"We beat holders Spennymoor Town in the last round and I think we'll not get a better chance to go into the last four."

Benfield expect to be at full strength but will need to give a late fitness test to Steve Baptist, who has dislocated his toe.

Hebburn Town, meanwhile, are involved in the bread and butter of attempting the great escape as they battle against relegation.

They look certainties for the drop, but manager Scott Oliver reckons they are playing better now than at any stage of the season.

He said: "It won't be easy against second-top Shildon but I know the lads will give their all. They are a great bunch."

Shildon are seven points adrift of leaders Celtic Nation, who host relegation-threatened Team Northumbria, but they have four games in hand on the Cumbrians.

Team North are third bottom and Morpeth Town have slipped to fourth from the basement ahead of their crucial fixture with Sunderland RCA, who are also embroiled in the relegation fight. …

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