ST HELENS Town will face an incredible SEVENTH successive away tie in this year's Carlsberg FA Vase -- providing they can overcome either Hornchurch or Berkhamstead in this Saturday's delayed fifth round tie.

The two Rymans League outfits will hopefully resolve their outstanding fourth round clash this week following an FA decree that should the need arise an alternate venue should be used to decide who will face Jimmy McBride's men.

And should they overcome that hurdle, Town face a quarter-final trip to meet 1996 Wembley Vase winners, Brigg Town.

Although Town boss McBride is looking no further than this Saturday's delayed fifth round tie in the Home Counties, he will be quietly confident should his side emerge to face Brigg, as he already has a victory over the North Lincs outfit. That came in November, 1998 when goals by Glenn Walker and Steve Pennington saw St Helens home in a tense Hoghton Road Vase tussle.

And looking even further back, Town have already made an appearance at Brigg's Hawthornes home ground when winning an FA Cup prelim tie in September,1989, goals from Mark Shaw and Gary Laird easing them to a 2-0 win. Twelve years later and after a Non-League odyssey, striker Laird is still a valuable member of the St Helens squad and will be in the party which heads south at the weekend for a tie which should at last take place.

Should a replay be required it is muted that a midweek could be considered but supporters should ring the NWCL Leagueline on 09066-555-944 from Sunday or the Knowsley Road ticket office from Monday during office hours on 01744 23697.

Should no such complication arise, Town face a major game at Knowsley Road on Wednesday, February 21 when they take on Newcastle Town in a top three NWCL game. Admission is £3, £1.50 concessions, Saints season ticket holders admitted free, kick-off 7.45pm.

Town lie third in the table but with ample games in hand to overhaul the top two and Wednesday's encounter is the first of a series of'six-pointers' which will have considerable bearing upon the destiny of the championship which ensures elevation to the Unibond League. With more than two dozen games still to fit in inside ten weeks, Town have plenty on their plate but it's the price of success and fans are asked to get behind them, especially at Knowsley Road, in the taxing times ahead.