Buoyant South Shields are bidding for more cup progress tonight – with on-fire David Foley aiming to put on over on former club Hartlepool United.
Shields are taking on Pools in the quarter-final of the Durham Challenge Cup at Mariners Park.
I was there for a long time, and Hartlepool’s is still the first score I look out for.
They go into the tie in confident mood, having reached the last eight of the FA Vase with a 5-2 win at Team Solent on Saturday.
The Mariners were handed a home tie against Sunderland RCA’s conquerors, Newport Pagnell Town, when the quarter-final draw was made at Wembley yesterday.
For now, though, the Vase is pushed to the back of their minds.
Hartlepool are expected to send a mixture of reserves and fringe players to Mariners Park for tonight’s match, which will see Shields pair Foley and Darren Holden come up against their first professional club.
Foley, who is Pools’ youngest-ever player, will be looking to build on his remarkable run of 19 goals from his last 12 starts.
He said: “It’s going to be nice, because I haven’t played against Hartlepool since I left them in 2010.
“I was there for a long time, and Hartlepool’s is still the first score I look out for. That will probably never change.
“You still want to get one over on them, though.”
Foley made his debut for Hartlepool against Port Vale in 2003, aged just 16.
He scored a memorable long-range goal against Stoke City during his time at Pools, helping them to an FA Cup giant-killing in 2009.
He added: “My time at Hartlepool was good, and I think I was ready for it in terms of my ability, but mentally I wasn’t ready.
“I made my debut at 16 and was always around the first team.
“I’m older and wiser now, and it’s frustrating to look back on at times, because I could have ended up doing so much more.”
Shields left-back Holden could also come up against his former club, having broken into the Pools team as a teenager. He made over 50 appearances in the Football League for them.
Kick-off at Mariners Park is at 7.30pm, with admission prices – to be paid at the turnstiles – costing £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.