Ryton & Crawcrook Albion boss relishing South Shields cup tie after fortunate draw
Ryton and Crawcrook Albion manager Tony Fawcett has explained why he thinks South Shields are the biggest draw in the Durham Challenge Cup.
Despite the presence of Sunderland and higher-ranked non-league clubs Hartlepool United, Darlington, Spennymoor Town and Gateshead, Fawcett described South Shields as the club that he wanted his players to face in the First Round of the competition.
The Northern League Division Two side will host the Mariners at Kingsley Park in late October after they were plucked out of the hat together in Thursday’s First Round draw.
Fawcett said “It’s a good draw for us and it will be good for the club.
“It will be a massive occasion for us as a club and we were fortunate last year when we went to Hartlepool United.
“I think out of everyone in the cup, you want South Shields at home because they will bring the fans and they probably do that more than anyone else in the competition.
“The guys at our club work very hard and it’s a bit of a reward for them. – it’s going to be a great night for our club.”
It was back in 2016 when the clubs last met in the Northern League’s second-tier, as a South Shields side managed by Jon King racked up a pair of 4-0 wins against Albion on their way to securing the first of three consecutive promotions.
Much has changed for the Mariners since their last visit to Kingsley Park as goals from John Grey, Stephen Ramsey, Julio Arca and David Foley gave them a comfortable win to take them closer to securing the Division Two title.
Only Robert Briggs and David Foley remain on the Mariners playing staff from that game – although the latter did leave South Shields to spend a season with Spennymoor Town.