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Northern League Looking to Dominate Vase

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The Ebac Northern League could have six teams in the last sixteen of the FA Carlsberg Vase if they make their….

….home advantage count tomorrow.

Five teams take on opposition from outside the north east, while there is an all-Northern League game between Whickham and West Auckland Town.

Vase holders Spennymoor Town are at home to Causeway United from the Midland Alliance, and manager Jason Ainsley said: “We haven’t hit top form consistently in the league, but the players should need no motivating for the Vase. We want to go back to Wembley again.”

Ainsley will give a fitness tests to striker Gavin Cogdon and defender Kallum Griffiths, while striker Dan Taylor is definitely out with a hand injury.

Dunston UTS tackle another Alliance outfit, Coleshill Town, at the UTS stadium, and manager Billy Irwin chooses from a full strength squad which includes striker Andy Bulford, who has recently returned from injury.

Dunston, who won the competition in 2012 but went out at this stage last season to Tunbridge Wells.

Newcastle Benfield are at home to North West Counties side Congleton Town looking to reach the Fifth Round for the first time since 2006.

Defender Richie Slaughter and midfielder Steve Stewart will both have fitness tests, while midfielder Andy Dugdale is definitely out because of injury.

Ashington take on Wisbech Town from the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League, and manager Gary Middleton will have a full squad if defender Lance McGlen passes a late fitness test.

This is the fourth successive season that Ashington have been in the Fourth Round, but they’ve only won once before, in 2012.

Morpeth Town stage their biggest game for several years at home to Midland Alliance side Westfields from Hereford as they try to reach the Fifth Round for the first time since 2003, and manager Nick Gray will be without Wayne Buchanan because of injury.

Whickham, one of the lowest ranked teams left in the competition, are at home to competition favourites West Auckland, and they will be without defender Mark Pattison because of suspension, but otherwise they’ll be at full strength.

West are missing Warren Byrne, because he has already played for Crook Town in the competition, but otherwise they will be at full strength.

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