Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gateshead Sights Are Set on Cup Run, Insists Boss Aspin

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gateshead Sights Are Set on Cup Run, Insists Boss Aspin

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Bowron

GATESHEAD manager Neil Aspin insists his side will be up for the cup when they travel to Alfreton Town on Saturday.

Thanks to playing at the top level of non-league football, the Heed have only to win one game to reach the first round proper in the FA Cup.

In the past six years they have won four of their six final qualifying round games - with one of those defeats against Alfreton.

Last season they fell at the first hurdle when they lost at home to Worcester City who, like Alfreton, are from the division below Gateshead.

It was an abject performance that was the catalyst for Malcolm Crosby to be sacked three games later.

Gateshead head for Derbyshire in much better fettle than they might have done after ending a four-game winless and goalless run.

A superb single-goal win at Tranmere Rovers was followed by a thumping 4-2 win over Dover Athletic. While the league and a promotion push remain the main focus there is no danger of the Tynesiders disrespecting the FA Cup.

They will field their strongest available side at the Impact Arena, although the squad is likely to be down to the bare bones once again.

Aspin reached the semi-final of the FA Cup during his eight years as a player at Leeds United, only to lose in extra-time against Coventry City in 1987. The Tynesider had more memorable moments in the Cup during a decade at Port Vale, and has also had runs in the famous competition as a manager.

"The FA Cup is a special competition, and one we'll be taking seriously," said Aspin. "It would be great to have a run this season, but we've got to get past Alfreton first.

"The Cup is different because they are one-off games, but I want to do well in the FA Cup and we'll treat it exactly the same as a league game.

"We've got to go to Alfreton and put in a performance. If we do that we'll have every chance of getting a result and being in the hat for the first-round draw on Monday."

The Robins have two players released by Gateshead in 2015, Tom Allan and Ryan Wilson, in their side, with defender Allan the Heed's record signing.

Gateshead had to fork out PS25,000 after his move from York City went to an FA tribunal. …

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