Newlands Park take on Whitby Fisherman’s Society on Wednesday in the Coastal Shellfish Saturday League Cup final at Pickering Town’s Mill Lane ground, 7.30pm ko, and both division one sides will be looking to end the season on a high.
Newlands have had a gruelling run of fixtures as they aim to defend their title, and manager Shaun Mancrief claims this could affect his side’s preparations going into the final.
He said: “We are as well prepared as we could be with the backlog of games in April. Most of the lads played on Sunday as well and it is starting to have an impact on fitness and injuries.”
On the other hand, Whitby have a full team to choose from going into the game and Whitby Fisherman’s Society assistant boss Mark Leeman said: “It’s been a while since we’ve been in a final and we’ve never won anything so the lads are raring to go to put it right. We’re well prepared and we know how good they are so we have to be ready.”
Whitby have already beaten Newlands on their own patch this season in the top flight but Mancrief says that won’t affect his sides mentality in the final.
He said: “This will be a close affair. league status is nothing when it comes to a midweek one-off game, especially in a final.”
Whitby started the season poorly but turned it around with a strong end to the campaign.
Leeman said: “We had a bad start but we’ve turned it around and we’re looking to end the season on a high. We’ve beaten them already this season but form goes out of the window in the cup. It’ll be a close one.”
Both teams are full of talented individuals and Mancrief spoke highly of his opposition’s goalkeeper, he said: “They have a few good players and it is my opinion that they have one of the best goalkeepers in the league in Paul Cull.
Leeman added: “Sam Bailey is also one to watch for us, he’s bang on form and he will have a real impact on the outcome of the game.”
Whitby Fisherman’s Society have never won the cup, but Mancrief has won the trophy on plenty of occasions as a player and a manager and he’s looking to add another medal to his growing collection.
Mancrief said: “I would like to think we can come out on top and lift the trophy.
“This is my favourite of all the local cups, I won it a number of times playing for Edgehill and my brother Paddy has won this trophy nine times.”