Hebburn Town boss Scott Oliver reveals why FA Vase draw may turn out to be blessing in disguise

Hebburn Town FC manager Scott Oliver
Hebburn Town FC manager Scott Oliver

Hebburn Town manager Scott Oliver admits he didn’t get the FA Vase draw he wanted – but says it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

The Hornets will travel to last season’s beaten finalists Stockton Town for their third round tie.

Hebburn are one of the favourites for the competition, with a squad packed with previous winners, but Oliver believes playing a fellow Northern League side could work in their favour.

He said: “We didn’t want this tie and I am not sure Michael Dunwell down at Stockton would have wanted it either.

“It’s tough for both sides, but in a strange way it could work for us because I think we will be underdogs for once.

“They obviously got to last year’s final so have that experience behind them, but we also have a lot of Vase experience in our squad.”

Hebburn came through their second round tie at Hallam thanks to a late winner from new signing Jack Robson, who struck in the 87th minute to seal a 2-1 win.

Hebburn, meanwhile, have granted the hero of their first round win over City of Liverpool, James Fairley, a transfer after conversations between the winger and Oliver.

Fairley scored from 40 yards against the Merseysiders, but now looks set to rejoin his former side Marske United.

Elsewhere, another all-Northern League third round tie sees Shildon host Sunderland RCA.

RCA manager Martin Swales was upbeat despite his side being handed an away tie at their “bogey team”.

He said: “We haven’t beaten them for a while, but what better time to burst their bubble than in an FA Vase tie.”

Much-fancied West Auckland Town have been handed another away tie as they head to North West Counties First Division North promotion-chasers Avro.

And Newcastle Benfield also face North West opposition as they entertain Runcorn Town at Sam Smiths Park.

All four ties will take place on Saturday, December 1, with the winning clubs securing £1,125 in prize money and a place in the last 64 of the competition.