Harton and Westoe boss Jason Jones admits tomorrow’s home game (2pm kick off) against Boldon CA is a big game for him personally – not just the team.
The South Tyneside derby clash pits Jones against his old club for the first time since he left Boldon in the summer.
The Harton boss was unhappy about certain aspects of his departure from CA, but is now raring to face his former side.
He said: “Tomorrow is a big game, not just because it’s a derby, but it’s against a team I have managed in the past.
“I don’t really want to go in to it too much, but I’m still a bit disappointed in what happened to me at Boldon.
“But that’s in the past now, my future is with Harton and with the backing I’m getting, I’m sure that we will do well.
“Having come off a defeat in midweek against Sunderland West End, which was hard to take as we were the better team for the full game, we will be raring to go in a game to see who is South Tyneside’s top dogs.”
Harton suffered heartache on Wednesday night when they lost 1-0 against title-chasing West End thanks to a late winner.
The performance pleased Jones, however, he is hoping his players can replicate that effort against Boldon.
He added: “I know for a fact that my lads are champing at the bit in what we all see as a must-win game.
“If we show the desire, work-rate and commitment that we showed on Wednesday, we will do well in the game.
“But if we slack off just that once, I know that Boldon have enough good players to punish us, so we will be ready.
“The lads are now starting to take in what we are telling them and are performing a lot better.”
Jones expects to have a full squad at his disposal for the derby clash. Kyle Young, Andy Hall and Andy Hill come back into the squad, while new signing David Halliday is available.
Jones has also added goalkeeper Chris Smith to his management team.
Boldon go into the game refreshed after a free week, with their scheduled game against Stockton on Wednesday postponed.
They are in good form, having beaten high-flying Hartlepool 4-3 last weekend despite being reduced to 10 men early in the contest.
They are six points ahead of Harton in the Wearside League table, but have played three games more.
Boldon are without key midfielders, Shaun Graham, Frankie Huck’s and Liam Cox and there’ll be late fitness tests for Jonny Gage and Aaron Burn.
Manager Paul Mossa said: “Local derbys are always competitive games.
“I watched Harton play a very good Sunderland West End side on Wednesday and they were unlucky not to get something from the game.
“I have a few players missing alongside some injury concerns, but we are all looking forward to the game.”