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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Hexham and Ponteland in cup pursuit

A PLACE in the quarter-finals of the Northumberland FA Minor Cup awaits both Hexham and Ponteland United.

Hexham FC

But first, the Northern Alliance Division One sides have to overcome the obstables placed in front of them on Saturday as they face lower league opposition in round four.

After agonisingly losing out in last year's finals on penalties, Hexham harbour hopes of going all the way this term and they are looking at making their way past Newcastle Benfield Reserves who currently lie 10th in Division Two.

United, who were losing finalists in the more prestigious Senior Benevolent Bowl, travel to West Allotment Celtic who are three places and three points off Benfield.

Hexham's and Ponteland's involvement in the county cup could pave the way for rivals Heddon to make up ground at the foot of Division One when they welcome sixth placed Wooler to Bullocksteads.

They are desperate for points to move out of the bottom two and will want to put the nightmare of the 5-0 reversal behind them when the teams meet on Saturday.

In the Premier Division, Wallington will look to keep their title charge on track with a visit of Ashington Colliers.

Currently level on points with leaders Blyth Town but second on goal difference, the Greens will be determined to avenge the 4-1 loss suffered at home to the Colliers earlier in the season.

Success for Stocksfield on Saturday will send the Griffins soaring above their hosts Northbank Carlisle, the team currently one point behind their opponents but with four games in hand. In the reverse fixture, neither side could break the stalemate as it ended 0-0.

Chopwell look to get their promotion push in Division Two back on course for what they hope will be a third win over High Howdon SC this season.

They make the visit on the back of two narrow victories over the same team, needing extra time to scrape through 5-4 in the Amateur Cup and then winning 3-2 in the league.

Prudhoe Town put their Wearside League exploits behind them as they make the trip to Wolviston to get their League Cup campaign up-and-running.

If Ryton and Crawcrook Albion stand any chance of moving off the foot of the Northern League table, they need to beat the teams around them and Saturday will provide them with the perfect opportunity.

Hosting second bottom Esh Winning, they have a chance to close the current five point gap and put themselves in a good position having played two games less. When the teams met early in the season, Esh picked up a 3-1 victory.

On Sunday, North East Women's Football League leaders Tynedale Ladies host Kader while Prudhoe Town Ladies travel to Birtley Town Ladies.

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