The Robins begin their FA Cup campaign tomorrow evening as they make the journey south to face Marske United at Mount Pleasant.
After last-season’s non-league calendar was decimated by Covid-19, both teams will be looking to begin their 2020/21 campaign on the right foot, with a trip to either Crook Town or Yorkshire Amateur in the next round the reward.
Both teams will be entering tomorrow evening on the back of a defeat, with Marske falling to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of South Shields, whilst the Robins were frustrated by a plucky Heaton Stannington side, losing 1-0.
However, both sides have enjoyed a positive pre-season campaign after the Robins won five, drew one and lost two whilst Marske won all but one, with that being the South Shields result.
Last season saw the Seasiders mount a promotion push from the Northern Premier League Division One West, sitting in fifth place before the season was cancelled. Similarly to the Robins, who finished in fourth in the Northern League Division One table, they will be eager to go one better this time around.
Tomorrow’s hosts also proved to be very difficult to score against, having the fourth best defensive record, behind only Workington, Ramsbottom United, Marine and Pontefract Collieries, conceding only 25 goals from 26 games.
However, Dan Wilson, who returns to the Robins after spells with Blyth AFC and Seaham Red Star, will be eager to test the Seasiders defence, alongside record-breaking striker Gareth Bainbridge.
Marske have made a number of impressive signings over the summer, most notably Matty Tymon who joined the Seasiders from Whitby Town. Alongside Adam Boyes, who joined the club from Spennymoor Town, they boast a potent threat at the top of the pitch.
They also have a player who lined up twice against the Robins last season, with former Guisborough Town keeper Ryan Catterick signing from his parent club Hartlepool United. With Catterick in goal, the Robins won once, drew once and lost once against Guisborough, scoring six and conceding four.
The last time these sides faced each other was during Marske United’s Northern League Division One title winning season, with the Robins falling to a 3-0 defeat at Mount Pleasant.
The game will kick off at 7:45pm and if it is 0-0 after 90 minutes, the game will go straight to penalties as their are no replays, following the FA’s Covid-19 guidance for cup competitions.