Hebburn Town will kick-off their FA Vase campaign tomorrow with manager Scott Oliver calling on his side to show improvement – and fast.
The Hornets were beaten 1-0 in the South Tyneside derby by South Shields on Monday.
It means Hebburn have gone three games without a win, but they take a break from league action tomorrow when they host North Yorkshire club Knaresborough Town in the Vase.
Oliver feels the defeat to Shields was contributed to by the fact the Mariners had not played last Saturday, with their game against Ryhope CW abandoned after four minutes due to an injury picked up by Adam Sakr.
Hebburn had played two days before the derby, at Thornaby, and also had a number of players missing, so Oliver is hopeful they will pick up their form soon.
He said: “We worked very hard against Shields, but they were sharper.
“I think the fact that they didn’t play on the Saturday helped them.
“We’ll be able to start managing better now that we have players returning from holidays.
“We’ve got doubts over both goalkeepers for this weekend, though, so Anth Dixon stands by.
“I want to see a big improvement in the passing, and quickly.”
Hebburn will welcome back Marc Costello, Brian Johnson, Callum Smith and Scott Wallace for tomorrow’s game.
Kick-off in the first qualifying round game is at 3pm at Hebburn Sports and Social Ground, while Hebburn also face a tough league trip to Team Northumbria on Monday.