Whitley Bay manager Ian Chandler feels the Northumberland Senior Cup Final can go either way.
Chandler’s outfit will be pitched against Ashington on Wednesday, May 1, at St James’ Park, which will be a re-run of the clash three years ago when the Seahorses triumphed 2-1.
However, Chandler, whilst hoping that the game lives up to its billing as being an entertaining affair, believes it will go to the wire with whichever side turns up on the day coming out victorious.
“It’s deja vu as we met in the 2009-10 season,” he said.
“Whitley Bay and Ashington always put on a good game with 100 per cent effort.
“It’s a trophy at the end of the day but it’s also the occasion and I hope the lads enjoy themselves.
“Ninety per cent of my side are Newcastle United supporters and we’ll be giving it a good go, but I think it is about whichever outfit turns up on the day.”
The Seahorses boss added: “It can go either way because in Marc Walton, Andrew Johnson and Paul Antony, Ashington have players in their side who can turn games on their head with one or two passes or strikes on goal.”
Chandler also believes one goal will not be enough.
He added: “Whichever team gets their noses in front I don’t think it will be the end of the game.
“I reckon it will be a good entertaining contest with plenty of goals.”
The Colliers won 3-1 at Hillheads earlier in the season with Bay coming out 2-1 winners at Woodhorn Lane.
There is also great respect between both camps with skipper Middleton leading the Seahorses to Vase glory in 2002 when Chandler scored the winning goal in extra time against Tiptree United at Villa Park.
For Wednesday’s clash, Lee Kerr is ruled out through suspension whilst Ash Davis, who recently returned, is also unavailable.
“Earlier in the campaign I’d have said both players would be a massive loss,” said Chandler.
“But we’ve bedded a few young lads in over several months with James Fairley in particular turning in some sparkling performances.
“Players are taking their opportunity and it’s good to see.”