Blues boss Hardy is up for the cup

Blues boss Chris Hardy
Blues boss Chris Hardy

Chris Hardy believes that his side will be well prepared to play Pickering Town, when they walk out at the Riverside Stadium, on Monday evening.

Whitby Town will face the Pikes in the North Riding Senior Cup final, after a successful league campaign and impressive cup run.

The Seasiders ran out 5-0 winners at Guisborough Town’s King George V ground, in the first round, before going on to knock out a strong York City side and Middlesbrough’s Under-23s respectively to book a place in the final.

Pickering, meanwhile, defeated Redcar Athletic, Marske United and Scarborough Athletic to make it to the Riverside.

Much like the Seasiders, Paul Marshall’s side have had a strong season, exceeding expectations, finishing second in the Toolstation Northern Counties East Premier Division.

Hardy, however, is as level-headed as usual heading into the clash, knowing that the Pikes have the capability to hurt the Blues, despite the two-division gap.

“We’re aware of what Pickering can do and we’ll be focused and look to deal with that,” Hardy told the Whitby Gazette.

“They’re full of energy and like to move the ball about. They’re different to what we saw in pre-season.

“However, we’ll be prepared like we are for any other game. We’ll play on Thursday and train on Saturday morning. That’s when we’ll add our final touches.

“We’ve arranged a game against Boro under-23s on Thursday, so I hope that will go some way to helping match sharpness.

“Not playing for a couple of weeks can have an effect on players, but the lads have been given training programmes to stick to. They’re a fit bunch so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I don’t think we’ll see a drop-off.”

Hardy, who has a good record in the North Riding Senior Cup, is looking to top off his side’s successful season with silverware.

“It can put the icing on the cake for us,” the Blues manager added.

“We talked about consolidation, and we finished just outside the play-offs and made a final. It’s remarkable.

“A win at the Riverside would top it off, we’re expecting a special occasion.”