Julio Arca has already broken Hartlepool United hearts once in the FA Cup. And the South Shields midfielder is hoping to do it all over again on Saturday – albeit with the boot very much on the other foot.
Arca scored the only goal as Sunderland saw off a brave Hartlepool challenge in the third round of the competition in 2004, kicking off a run to the semi-finals for the Black Cats.
His second-half goal – scored against the run of play – ensured Sunderland did not suffer an upset against one of the lowest-ranked sides left in the cup.
On Saturday, though, Arca will be part of a Shields team looking to upset the odds themselves, and claim a fourth higher-division scalp of the season to take their place in the first round proper.
It’s a task the 36-year-old feels they can succeed in against the National League side.
He said: “We’ve got a fantastic record over the last year and we’re all hoping it can continue.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to play against a really good team and try to progress in the competition.”
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