they’ve won the FA Vase three years running, enjoyed a 4-0 win on Saturday and if their website is to be believed, Whitley Bay already boast one foot in the third round.
But Tadcaster Albion are in the form of their lives, winning 1-0 over Brighouse on Saturday, and boss Paul Marshall is relishing the chance to pit his troops against the defending Vase champions away tomorrow (3pm).
It’s the first time the sides have met, and while Whitley Bay are experiencing topsy-turvy form in the Northern League First Division, Taddy are on a roll after seven straight wins and 11 games unbeaten.
“It’ll be a tough game, they were always going to be favourites having won it for the last three years running,” said Marshall.
“But there’s no reason why we can’t go there and not get beat. We’re going full of confidence.
“Whitley Bay won 4-0 against Billingham on Saturday but then lost 4-0 to Bedlington on Saturday so they’re a bit hit and miss.
“We’re rock-solid right now, so people will be writing us off at their peril.”
As always, Marshall’s preparations for the game have been impressively thorough, as he and assistant Rob Hunter journeyed to watch Bay in action last week.
Although Albion will be without three key players, the coach hopes his strikers will have enough to outwit their illustrious hosts.
“We went to see them last week at South Shields, and they’ve got four lads of six-foot plus so they’re giants,” said Marshall.
“They’re dangerous from set pieces but I think they’re vulnerable at the back and hopefully Carl Stewart will cause them some trouble.
“We will be without Rob Pell, Graeme Whitehead and Danny Gray though.
“The bench will be a bit light but some of the lads from the reserves will step in and do a job.”
Albion enter the clash on the crest of a wave, Saturday’s 1-0 win over Brighouse lifting them to third in the NCEL Premier.
Carl Stewart netted the only goal, getting the slightest of touches after Jamie Hopcutt’s glancing header.
“It was a tight game and we were unlucky early doors, Carl hit the crossbar and then we had a three-on-one break before a poor finish,” said Marshall.
“But defensively we’ve kept four clean sheets.
“Aaran Reid is playing great in goal, Ryan Qualter and Matthew Sparkes and Jamie Williamson are all doing really well so our defence is fantastic at the moment.”
Right - Tadcaster Albion in action.