Why should I watch..?

To see if Northwich Victoria can cause an upset and eliminate one of the bookmakers’ favourites to lift the FA Vase at Wembley in May.

Vics make a long trip to the north east buoyed by an impressive run to the last 32 that has seen them shut out every opponent.

They will be greeted by hosts who have already eliminated two teams from the North West Counties League’s Premier Division to reach this stage.

However Newcastle, conquerors 1874 Northwich in the second round, needed a stoppage-time goal to edge Runcorn Town last time out.

Much of the build-up has focused on striker Paul Brayson, who has 11 goals to his name in the Northern League’s top-flight this season and lines up against one of his former clubs on Saturday.

He has found the net in both FA Vase victories for his side so far.

What they’ve said

“We expect a tough game; they’ll be a physical side, but they’ve two or three decent players as well.

“There are one or two weaknesses we think we can exploit, and I’m sure they’ll say the same about our flaws.

“It’s biggest game we’ve had since I took over as manager and the incentive to get through is huge – a place in the last 16 of a national knockout competition.”

Steve Wilkes, Northwich Victoria manager

“It makes the game that bit more special when it’s against a former club where I enjoyed playing and have treasured memories of my time there.

“It was bittersweet to discover that we’d be playing against them because in an ideal world I’d prefer it to have been the final.”

Paul Brayson, Newcastle Benfield striker

Numbers game

Vics have yet to concede a goal in five FA Vase matches to date this season; including extra-time in the first meeting with Prestwich, that’s a spell of eight hours.

It’s an important afternoon for…

Danny Taberner

Vics’ goalkeeper has been in inspired form over the past few weeks, and was chosen as their man of the match during a 1-0 defeat against Barnoldswick last time out.

The former Atherton Collieries custodian has established himself as an integral part of Steve Wilkes’ side and he’ll need to play well against free-scoring opponents.

Vics team news

Front man Darrhyl Mason (back) is the visitors’ biggest injury concern after sitting out the past two matches.

However Steve Wilkes is optimistic that Andrew Fitzgerald (hamstring), Kieron Kenny (head) and Rob Doran (thigh) will all be available for selection.

Bolton Wanderers duo Max Broughton and Jordan Boon are ineligible but Jordan Darr, prevented from playing in the previous round against Silsden, can take part.

Form (past six in all competitions)

Newcastle W D W W W W

Vics L W W L W W

Route to this round

Newcastle R3 bt Runcorn Town (h) 5-4; R2 bt 1874 Northwich (h) 2-0

Vics R3 bt Silsden (h) 3-0; R2 bt Prestwich Heys (h) 1-0 (r); R1 bt Cammell Laird (h) 5-0; 2QR bt Maltby Main (h) 2-0

Last season in FA Vase

Newcastle Fourth Round

Vics First Qualifying Round

Odds (Bet Victor)

Newcastle 2/5

Draw 7/2

Vics 9/2

Essential information

When Saturday, January 5

Kick- off 3pm

Address Sam Smith’s Park, Benfield Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear NE6 4NU

Admission Adults £6, Concessions £3, Kids £1

Replay date Sunday, January 13 (ko 3pm)

Prize money Winners £1,875; Losers £625