Hebburn boss Kevin Bolam eager to start Vase clash on front foot against North Shields

Hebburn Town manager Kevin Bolam has called on his side to seize the initiative in their FA Vase second round meeting with North Shields.
Hebburn Town  (blue) will tackle North Shields in the FA Vase, on Saturday.Hebburn Town  (blue) will tackle North Shields in the FA Vase, on Saturday.
Hebburn Town (blue) will tackle North Shields in the FA Vase, on Saturday.

The Northern League Division One title challengers will go head-to-head at the Green Energy Sports Ground on Saturday in one of the most eagerly anticipated ties of the competition so far.

The Hornets go into the game with something to prove as their visitors are the only side to have inflicted a league defeat on them this season.

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That came in late September when two goals from former Newcastle United trialist Cedwyn Scott were not enough to prevent his side falling from a defeat by the odd goal in five on North Tyneside.

However, Hebburn have responded to that defeat in outstanding fashion after winning all eight fixtures in all competitions and scoring 45 goals in the process.

Both sides will return to action for the first time in five weeks and Bolam is hopeful that his players will regain their pre-lockdown form to keep alive their hopes of reaching a second consecutive FA Vase final.

Reflecting on their only league defeat of the season, the Hornets boss told The Gazette: “We only really came alive in the last 20 minutes on that night, but we couldn’t take anything away from North Shields.

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“They deserved the win; they were the better side that night and I think we discovered a lot about ourselves during the game.

“The players looked at each other and knew that they hadn’t done enough to win the game and we got what we deserved.

“But, to their credit, they have been very good since that defeat and we need to take that into Saturday’s tie.

“We are at home; it should be us going on the front-foot and that is what we want to do.

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“It’s not going to be easy, we know that, but we are ready to have a good go because we have a bit of a taste for the Vase now.”

Bolam will have a full squad available for the game after the postponement of the original fixture last weekend allowed midfielder Michael McKeown and forward Amar Purewal to recover from injuries.

The winners of Saturday’s tie will land £900 in prize money and will host Vauxhall Motors in the third round on Saturday week.