Strong Squad Expected For Shildon Cup Tie

Aaron Cunningham, Hartlepool United

Antony Sweeney will lead a strong squad in to this evening’s Durham County Challenge Cup tie against Shildon at Dean Street (7.30pm kick-off).

The caretaker boss will be alongside Ian McGuckin in the dugout for the tie and will use it as an opportunity to give some minutes to players on the fringe of the First Team action.

The likes of Adam Bale, Aaron Cunningham, Luke James, Jason Kennedy, Kenton Richardson and Niko Muir are all set to play some part against the Northern League Division One outfit.

“With us not playing in a Reserve league, fixtures are few and far between for the lads not in the First Team starting eleven,” explained Sweeney.

“So the game at Shildon is the perfect opportunity to get them some minutes to keep them sharp because they will be needed in the coming weeks – and when they are we want them to be ready.

“It also gives us a chance to throw in a couple of our younger players such as Coleby Shepherd and Harrison Webster and see how they fare in a senior environment.”

Shildon are the current holders of the Durham County Challenge Cup after they beat South Shields in last year’s Final at the Stadium of Light so Sweeney is expecting a tough First Round tie tonight.

“We know it will be tough because Shildon knocked us out last season on their way to winning it,” he commented.

“We played them during pre-season and we’ve come up against them a few times in recent years and they’ve always given us a good game so I am sure this will be another competitive game.”

Admission prices for the tie at Dean Street are £7 for adults, £5 for concessions, £2 for Under 16s and free for Under 5s.