Gray Eyes St James' Triumph
Northern League side Morpeth Town are looking to add the Techflow Senior Cup to their trophy cabinet for the first time since winning the accolade in 2007, with promotion to the NPL Division One already confirmed for next season.
"It's the only cup final we are in this year, so the Senior Cup is big for us," said Morpeth Town joint-manager Nicky Gray.
"We were second best when we got to the final three years ago so this time we will make sure we are well prepared to go and win it."
The Highwaymen have been prolific in the run up to the final, dispatching of last year's runners-up North Shields and most notably outclassing National League North side Blyth Spartans, scoring eight goals at Craik Park - a game in which Gray describes as his side’s best performance since Christmas.
It's been a long wait for the step five club who progressed to the final back in January, but the prospect of sharing the touch line with former West Allotment Celtic teammate Ben Dawson at St James' Park excites the Morpeth boss.
"I've played with Ben in the past and now he's obviously doing greater and better things at Newcastle - he will be looking forward to the final as well as I am," added Gray.
"I used to watch his reserves quite a bit, I know how they play and they are all technically good players.
"It's on their home pitch as well so it will be a tough test."
And it's not only Gray who is upbeat about the event, with many of the Morpeth contingent relishing their first-ever run out at a Premier League ground - a once in a lifetime experience for any Non League footballer.
"Everyone wants to play in a cup final; it's a nice end to the season and the lads are looking forward to it," added Gray.
"You've got to go with your strongest team and that's what we will do on Wednesday night."
The Techflow Senior Cup final between Newcastle United U23 and Morpeth Town kicks off 7:30pm on Wednesday 2 May, with general admission priced at £7 for adults and £3 concessions.
Article by Dan Simmonite