Northern tests for Thackley and Brighouse Town in FA Vase

Just two of the area’s clubs are left in the FA Vase and both face third-round ties against clubs from the Northern League on Saturday.

Thackley got the toughest draw as they make the journey to a footballing hotbed to take on Ashington, the town that is the birthplace of the Charlton brothers.

Ashington are fifth in the top tier and have lost only one of their eight home league games this term. In fact, their home is a bit of a fortress as they have won six of those eight matches and conceded only six goals.

The home side’s current form is poor but they have played five of their last six fixtures away, suggesting they will not want Thackley to hold them to a draw and have to travel to Bradford for a replay.

The Dennyboys are third in the equivalent Northern Counties East League and have a better points-per-game ratio than their hosts – but they will not be high on confidence after a midweek defeat at lowly Armthorpe cost them the chance to reclaim second spot.

Brighouse Town’s confidence may also be fragile as they are on their worst run of form this term as they prepare to host Wickham, who are mid-table in NL Division Two.

Paul Quinn’s men have not won in four games and lost their last two, suffering a defeat at Eccleshill United in the last eight of the West Riding County Cup last night.

But that will just give them added motivation to turn things around and they will have a chance to do that at the Dual Seal Stadium this weekend.

Wickham are tenth in their division’s current form guide, so are having an average season, but that could work against Town. The visitors will be determined to do well in the Vase to lift spirits and give their season a purpose.

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