Our journey in this seasons FA Vase continues this weekend as we travel to the North East to face Ryhope Colliery Welfare in the second round proper. After receiving a bye in the first qualifying round, we kicked off our Vase campaign away at Avro FC of the NWCFL Premier Division. A dominant Abbey came out 3-0 winners against an Avro side that spent a lot of the game with 10 men. Goals from Rhys Clooney, Jake Dunford and Deane Smalley saw us progress to the first round proper, where we were to face Hemsworth Miners Welfare of the Northern Counties East.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brought a stop to our campaign at the end of October and after many attempts at rescheduling the game, it was finally played on the 5th of December, albeit behind closed doors. Another fine display from the boys saw us come out 3-1 winners with a beautiful chip from Rhys Clooney early on in the game and a brace made up of a freekick and penalty from Paul Sunderland. A Hemsworth freekick in the last few minutes from 30 yards out saw us concede our first goal in the Vase this season.
We spoke to joint manager Terry Hincks about our game against Hemsworth and what we should expect this weekend from our Ebac Northern Football League opponents Ryhope Colliery Welfare.
Fantastic result on Saturday for us with a 3-1 win against Hemsworth. Were you pleased with how the lads played after such a long break and only one training session under their belt?
TH: I did a lot of ground work on Hemsworth, including travelling over to Leeds to watch them. Man for man I knew we had far too much quality in our squad but we had to set them up to eradicate what threats they had. With the break we had, I was concerned how the boys would come in but to be fair we looked a team on the day and they took on board the info we gave them. I thought we won the game quite comfortably and probably could have scored a few more.
Paul Sunderland scored a brace with a freekick and a penalty, it’s hard not to feel confident when he steps up for a set piece isn’t it?
TH: The whole squad were class on the day, including Paul who bagged a brace, albeit two set pieces. When we get anything around the 30 yard area I’m confident of Paul’s ability in regards to deliveries and finishing. It’s not only his quality on set pieces, Paul is a key player to how we play and is a very important player for us.
What sort of game are you expecting from Ryhope CW? Do you feel like it will be a tighter game than our game on Saturday?
TH: We haven’t had much prep on Ryhope, but we’ve watched a few games and they are a class act which is no surprise, as all clubs in the North East are very strong and play the right way. It’s a great test for us and if we turn up, who knows what can happen.
Our second round tie is due to be streamed live on YouTube by our opponents Ryhope. Their channel can be found here. Yesterday’s announcement that fans will be allowed to attend games in tier 3 areas could see a return of fans on Saturday, but this is subject to confirmation from local authorities. The guidelines that fans should not travel in and out of tier 3 areas is still in place, so as both Greater Manchester and the North East are under these restrictions we must ask fans in Greater Manchester not to make the journey regardless of whether or not this is played behind closed doors. If we come out as victors against Ryhope, we’ll be facing Liversedge FC in the third round of the FA Vase which would be played on Saturday 19th December at The Abbey Stadium.