Blues get FA Cup campaign underway

Defender Kieran Weledji is an injury doubt ahead of Whitby's FA Cup trip to Salford City. Picture: Brian Murfield
Defender Kieran Weledji is an injury doubt ahead of Whitby's FA Cup trip to Salford City. Picture: Brian Murfield

Whitby Town travel to Salford City on Saturday in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, 3pm kick-off.

It’s the first-ever meeting of the two sides who are both in the Evo Stik NPL Premier Division and are due to meet at the Turnbull Ground in league action on September 23.

The distraction of cup football comes at a welcome time for a Whitby side who are winless in seven league games, according to manager Darren Williams.

“Our trip to Salford in the FA Cup comes at a good time for us and will serve as something of a distraction from the league situation,” he told the Whitby Gazette.

“We’ve all been left a bit frustrated having gone a few games without a win, despite playing some good football at times.

“And we know we will have to play well at Salford if we are to get anything out of the game, we go there as underdogs, but there’s no pressure on us so I’m hoping the lads go there an show exactly what they’re capable of.

“Some of Manchester United’s ‘class of ‘92’ are involved there and it would be great if come tea-time on Saturday those guys are all talking about the brand of football that Whitby Town play and what a good side we are.

“We need to give a good account of ourselves, and the key to doing this is to cut out the costly errors we keep making.

“I’ve been saying it for a few weeks now, but we keep giving away bad goals through errors and not concentrating, and it continues to hurt us.”

Williams will be sweating on the fitness of defender Kieran Weledji and striker Matty Waters, who both limped out of Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at Ashton United.

Experienced defensive duo Lee Bullock and Richard Pell are both set to miss out with injuries of their own.

The Blues will be hoping to progress further in the competition than they did last season when they fell at the first hurdle following a 2-1 replay defeat to Northern League outfit Shildon at the Turnbull Ground.

The Seasiders know that they will however have their work cut out against Salford, who were promoted from Evo-Stik Division One North last term, and currently sit sixth in the Premier Division standings having won four and drawn two of their opening eight league games.

The Ammies have enjoyed a successful time since former Manchester United players Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt took over ownership of the club last year, and they boast the likes of former Red Devils, Sheffield United and Leeds striker Danny Webber amongst their ranks.