FC Hartlepool prepare for Durham Trophy final with Gateshead Leam Rangers while Billingham Synthonia take on Wythenshawe Amateurs in the FA Vase
FC Hartlepool assistant manager Mark Loynes has revealed his side are “ready to go” ahead of Saturday’s Durham Trophy quarter-final against Gateshead Leam Rangers.
Terry Hill’s men were scheduled to meet Rangers last weekend but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Grayfields.
The postponement has provided an unexpected benefit for Hill with a number of key players set to return after they were ruled out of the original meeting of the two sides.
Loynes wants his players to make the most of the rearranged fixture by claiming a place in the last four of the competition with a win against a Leam Rangers side that have captured his attention this season.
He told The Mail: “We were disappointed last week’s game was called off - but on a positive note, it gave a couple of our lads who were struggling a chance to have another week to rest.
“We also had a few players unavailable last week and they are also back so our squad is looking stronger.
“It will be physical because Leam Rangers are very direct and they’ve had a great start to the season, which has not gone unnoticed.
“We’ve had a great few training sessions since our last game and we had a friendly against Washington to get some important game-time into the lads.
“We are ready to go and we are confident.”
Despite the return of several players, Hartlepool will still be without Matty Gardner, Luke Naylor, Paul Donaghy and Kalon Lloyd.
Elsewhere, Billingham Synthonia are targeting a first appearance in the FA Vase fourth round since 2012 when they travel to the North West to take on Wythenshawe Amateurs on Saturday.
Mark Stephenson has a strong squad available for the game at the Ericstan Stadium as they face a Wythenshawe side sat fourth in the North West Counties Premier Division table.
Northern League Division One neighbours Billingham Town return to action with a visit to Seaham Red Star this weekend.
Graeme Clark’s side can move out of the bottom three of the Division One table if they can claim a win against a Red Star side looking for their third win in their last five games.