Whitby draw Spartans in FA Cup ‘glamour tie’

Dave McTiernan gets in a shot for Whitby'picture: Brian Murfield
Dave McTiernan gets in a shot for Whitby'picture: Brian Murfield

WHITBY Town Football Club is looking forward to glamourous FA Cup tie after being paired with old foes Blyth Spartans in yesterday morning’s third qualifying round draw, writes Duncan Atkins.

Blue boss Tommy Cassidy said he believes the fixture to be “the biggest one in the north of England at this level” and insists that if his side play at their full potential, they can win the game.

That would put Whitby just one game away from a place in the first round proper of the competition, when sides from the npower leagues one and two enter the fray.

Spartans embarked on a famous FA Cup run a couple of years ago when they reached the fifth round, narrowly losing out 1-0 at home to Premier League Blackburn in a run which netted the Northumberland club around half a million pounds.

Yet the tie is winnable for Whitby, with Blyth currently struggling in the bottom three of the Blue Square North, the division above Whitby’s.

“It’s a great game for the region, for us and for Blyth,” Cassidy said yesterday.

“Their record in the FA Cup stands out a mile.

“It’s all about the glamour of the cup and they’ll bring a fair few down with them.”

Cassidy - who knows all about the magic of the FA Cup after playing in the final for Newcastle United in 1974, losing 3-0 to Liverpool - said the tie was given extra spice by the friendly rivalry between the two clubs.

“At one time the FA Cup was the biggest tournament in the world and at our level it will never lose its appeal,” he said.

“It’ll be a very interesting game and the good thing for us is that it’s at home which maybe gives us a little advantage.

“We were hoping for a team from the lower divisions to have a better chance of winning and to get more money for the club but if we can play at our optimum, we can win the game.”

The tie - Whitby’s reward for knocking out North Ferriby on Saturday - will take place on Saturday 15 October, 3pm kick-off.