A TEACHER is on the verge of going from marking papers to marking top players on the pitch as his team are just one round away from the first round of the FA Cup.
Andy Jennings, who teaches Year 6 youngsters at Eldon Grove Academy, in Hartlepool, plays for Marske United.
The Northern League first division side is looking forward to the prospect of being drawn against higher opposition, including Hartlepool, if they can make it through the final qualifying round.
And the team have Andy to thank for making it this far.
The 30-year-old scored the winning goal in their last game against Halesowen Town.
The score was 2-2 when centre-forward Andy scored the last-minute winner to send the team through to the next round.
He said: “For any footballer you always dream about the chance of playing in the FA Cup but actually getting there would be brilliant.
“It would be dream world really.”
“We have successfully negotiated five rounds so far which hasn’t been done at our level for 12 years .
“Our last two games have been against opposition from leagues above us and on both occasions we have beat them.
“Normally, my luck has not been good in the FA Cup or FA Vase but this year we are going strong.”
Marske have just got to get past Conference Premier side Southport on Saturday, October 26.
But despite the gulf in league positions Andy said they are full of confidence.
“They are not playing particularly well and we are not going into any game fearing anyone,” said Andy.
He also has the support of his colleagues from Eldon Grove Academy to count on.
He said: “They have been really supportive. A few colleagues actually came to our last game on Saturday and the were really impressed.”
Andy, who lives in Billingham with wife Claire, 29, an assistant buyer for a chemical company, joined Marske United earlier this year.
He played competitively since he was 18 for teams including Blyth Spartans and Billingham Synthonia.