STEVE Cuggy has warned his Blyth Spartans side to be wary of Whitby’s underdogs, and use today’s FA Cup clash at the Turnbull Ground to kick-start their season.
The Croft Park club lie third-bottom of Blue Square Bet North, but today’s opponents – in the FA Cup third qualifying round – are in the same position in the league below, Evo-Stik Premier.
Cuggy said: “It’s a massive game for us, the biggest of our season so far.
“There’s a fair bit of rivalry between the two sides from Blyth’s days in the UniBond, and the fact that a lot of players have gone between the two clubs in recent years.
“The FA Cup is important for any non-league club, there’s £7500 at stake on Saturday. And the competition is particularly important to Blyth fans.
“Blyth have a great tradition in the FA Cup, and we want to continue that.
“Hopefully we can take a decent crowd down there and the fans get behind us as they have all season. It’s been tough, given our results, but they’ve been really supportive.
“This is a strange one because although we’re down at the wrong end of the table, so are they in the league below, so we’re probably favourites.
“But Blyth have shown themselves in the past that means nothing in the FA Cup, and that the underdogs can have their day.
“Hopefully we can get through and this can kick-start our season, because a good win might be all it takes.
“The lads are in confident mood, especially after Richard Offiong’s international clearance came through, and we’re confident he and Graeme Armstrong can flourish up front.”
Meanwhile, Whitby boss Tommy Cassidy believes his side have a chance against Blyth – but only if they cut out the “silly” mistakes.
“If we can cut out the individual mistakes, we’ll be a better team,” he said. “If we can do that against Blyth Spartans then we’ve got a chance.”