FA Vase action returns for another season for Jarrow Roofing as they make the trip south to the outskirts of Bradford to face Eccleshill United in the first qualifying round of the competition.
It is a little over three years since the teams last met, when Roofing ran out 4-1 winners in the FA Cup at Boldon. The Roofers will be hoping for much of the same and will be boosted by their 1-0 win away to Team Northumbria in the Northern League Division One on Wednesday night.
However, Eccleshill too have been enjoying good results of late and come into this game off the back of a thumping 5-1 win over Worsborough Bridge Athletic in the Northern Counties East League Division One – the second tier of that league structure.
Roofing joint-manager Richie McLoughlin had made clear at the start of the season that he was aiming for a good cup run this campaign. And after crashing out of the FA Cup to Barnoldswick Town last month, he will surely see this as his team’s opportunity to fulfil those cup desires.
While McLoughlin’s side have had more than their fair share of injuries this season, it was the return of striker Dennis Knight which proved critical for Roofing on Wednesday evening, his first minute strike the difference against Team Northumbria and giving the Roofers their second league win of the campaign.
“At the minute we’ve been up and down with a lot of players injured but we will be up for it on Saturday,” said McLoughlin.
“We’ve had a good win against Team Northumbria, the lads were outstanding, and should we show the same commitment on Saturday we may come away with something.”
The win has lifted Roofing into fourteenth in the league with eight points from their opening seven games. By contrast, their opponents on Saturday have collected ten points from their opening seven in their own campaign; the similar starts suggesting it may be a tight contest when the two teams face-off in this revered competition on Saturday afternoon.
“It will not be easy,” McLoughlin said on the test facing his side on Saturday, “but we need a little bit of luck to carry on from the Team Northumbria result and luck is something that has let us down so far.”
Unfortunately, Roofing still possess a considerable injury list with Jamie Marshall the latest to join it after failing a late fitness test ahead of the Team North game.
Paul Gardiner, Chris Winn, Dan Kirkup, Brad Varga, Ryan Burton and captain Shaun Vipond all still out of action. But McLoughlin continues to praise and rely on the commitment shown by his remaining players.
“No doubt we will give it our all and if it’s anything like the Team Northumbria game then we could not ask for more.”
The Roofers will travel to Yorkshire with a full matchday squad with recently signed Lewis Walton, who arrived from Conference North side Darlington last week, joining youngster Lee Graydon, who signed this week, in the squad alongside Gary Dadd and Daley Clarke who have been drafted in.
Kick off on Saturday is 3pm and will be held at Eccleshill’s ground on Kingsway, Bradford, BD2 1PN.
Seats are still available on the Roofing team coach which leaves the Shack in Boldon Colliery at 10am. These cost £15 per person and can be reserved by contacting Richie McLoughlin on 07714 525 549.
- Liam Kendal