A place in the last 16 of the Buildbase FA Vase awaits Marske United or Hinckley AFC when they face off in the re-arranged fourth round tie tomorrow.
AFC make the long trip north in the hope of reaching round five for the second straight year, but tests don’t come much tougher than a trip to the Seasiders who currently sit second in the Northern League.
That’s despite having played the fewest games of anyone in the division, with Carl Jarrett’s side 12 points off the leaders, and Vase winners two years ago, Morpeth Town, but with four games in hand.
The Northern League is also a traditional FA Vase stronghold. In eight of the last nine seasons the winner has come from that league, so Marske will fancy their chances of making it all the way to the arch in May.
Hinckley, though, have already made it through two ties against sides flying high at step five, having seen off AFC Mansfield (Northern Counties East League leaders) and a Deeping Rangers side who were fourth in the United Counties League when AFC beat them.
In Steve Hart and Luke Richards, Hinckley will always possess a goal threat but Markse have the best defensive record in the Northern League having let in just 21 in their 20 games.
They’ve been a threat going forward too, with Craig Gott (13) and Danny Earl (12) both into double figures for league goals.
That Marske are behind on games is also down to the weather which has seen them play only three matches since the middle of November.
One of those was the last round win over Runcorn Linnets, in which they led 3-0 at withstood a late Runcorn fightback to come out 3-2 winners. It was their fifth Vase tie of the season, having entered at the earliest stage with a first qualifying round win over Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
Should the tie finish level after 90 minutes, extra time will be played. If we still can’t find a winner, the replay at St John’s Park will be played next Saturday, 20th January.
The winners of the tie will pick up £1,875 from the FA’s prize fund and will advance to the fifth round, where they will host Newport (IoW) or Bradford Town. The losing side picks up £625.
Supporters please note that the tie will now be played at a different venue. with Marske’s ground unfit, the match will now take place at Billingham Town FC, Bedford Terrace, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, TS23 4AE. Our official supporters’ coach leaves the Greene King Stadium at 9-30am tomorrow, with a pick up at the Dog and Gun ten minutes later.Back to news