Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy will receive a boost when his side travel to the Riverside Stadium on Monday with Luke Bythway set to return to starting contention.
Versatile Bythway missed the end of the Whitby’s league campaign due to a chest injury picked up during the 2-0 win over Corby Town.
Though a defender for the most part of the season, Bythway contributed a hat-trick in the North Riding Senior Cup semi-final win over Middlesbrough Under-23s.
“He’s been an influential player for us this season,” said Hardy.
“It’ll be a major boost to us to have him in the side for Monday night.”
David Carson, however, will miss the occasion through injury, due to a lingering ankle ligament injury sustained in the 2-2 draw with Stafford Rangers in April.
The attacking midfielder had become a crucial part of Hardy’s side before sustaining the injury, providing a string of impressive performances, leading to a call-up to Jamie Vardy’s V9 academy.
Other than Carson, the Blues will be at full strength, Ben Askins the only other absentee.
The Blues are set to visit Middlesbrough’s Hurworth training facility to face an Under-23s side, before regrouping on Saturday morning in preparation for the big night.
Both sides go into the game on the back of impressive seasons and will be looking to put the icing on the cake with some silverware at the Riverside Stadium.
Hardy’s side finished sixth in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, two points adrift of the play-offs, while Pickering finished the season in second, with an impressive points haul of 97, in the Northern Counties East Premier Division.
The game will be Whitby’s first appearance in the competition’s final for 12 years, with a seventh title for the club and a third for Hardy up for grabs.