Seasiders and Spennymoor test is 'worthy of final'
BRIDLINGTON Town manager Mitch Cook believes tomorrow's FA Vase first round tie with Spennymoor is worthy of being the final.
Brid go into the game after winning their last 10 matches, while Spennymoor have won their last 11.
Cook expects a close-fought affair and admits it's too good a game to have so early in the competition.
"It's a shame the tie is being played in the first round," Cook told the Mail.
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"It is arguably the most difficult tie of the round.
"But we are at home and that is all you can ask for when you draw a big side like Spennymoor, who are like the Manchester United at this level.
"We were drawn away to Whitley Bay last season and got hammered 5-1. This season we gave them a good run for their money at our place in the league.
"The FA Vase is the FA Cup of our level and teams target it, just as we are.
"They are flying high in the Northern league and teams from that division have won the FA Vase in the last three or four years.
"But we are at home and I don't think they will relish coming to our place."
Tomorrow's game promises to be classic as not only have both sides been free-scoring, they have also been hard to score against.
Brid go into the game with three consecutive clean sheets, while Spennymoor have been just as miserly and Cook feels the side which is stronger in defence will progress to the second round.
"Both teams can score goals, and this game will come down to who concedes the least.
"I'm expecting goals, but we go into the game with three successive clean sheets, which have come from the team working hard for each other and doing the right things at the right time.
"However, we know Spennymoor are a good side who will come to our ground after being used to winning home and away."
Cook knows better than most how difficult it is to win the FA Vase.
He was a member of the Whitby side that beat North Ferriby in 1997.
Victory tomorrow would mean the world to Cook and the club as they look to continue the fine start they have made to the season.
"A win tomorrow will be massive for the club and our chairman Pete Smurthwaite," he added.
"There is a financial element to having a run in the FA Vase and to make the next round of the biggest competition at this level is huge for us.
"For fans looking for their football fix during the international break, this will be the perfect game."