IT has been an interesting week of preparation for Warrington Rylands as their FA Vase journey continues.

Having seen off Shildon on penalties at the weekend, Dave McNabb’s side were preparing to face North Ferriby in the latest instalment of their thrilling adventure in the competition today.

However, that all changed on Wednesday as the Villagers were sensationally thrown out of the competition.

They were found to have played an ineligible player during their 4-0 fourth round victory over West Auckland Town.

The West Riding County FA have admitted to human error in the non-recording of a yellow card that rendered Niall Tilsley ineligible for Saturday’s game, but the FA have removed North Ferriby from the competition regardless.

As a result, Northern League side West Auckland – two-times beaten finalists in this competition – have been reinstated and will travel to Warrington to face Blues.

> Read about the unique, World Cup-winning history of Rylands' next FA Vase opponents here

Regardless of who they face, though, McNabb’s confidence in his Rylands players is supreme and unbending.

“I’ll pit this group against anyone at our level,” he said after their dramatic shoot-out win at Shildon.

“The togetherness, teamwork and camaraderie is second to none.

“We’ve played really well in this competition – against Jarrow when it went to penalties and holding on against Longridge.

“Saturday proved that when our backs are against the wall and we’re not playing particularly well, we can still win games and that is really encouraging.”

The fifth-round tie kicks off at 3pm and is being played behind closed doors due to Covid restrictions.

> Details of how you can stream Warrington Rylands vs West Auckland Town while helping St Rocco's Hospice here

Blues have the added motivation of knowing they will be on home turf again in the quarter finals should they come through today’s game.

As a result of Monday’s draw, the winners of the Rylands-West Auckland clash will face Congleton Town – the only other North West Counties League club left in the competition – or Northern League side Hebburn Town.

That tie will take place next Saturday, May 1 – two days before Hebburn are due to contest the delayed 2020 final against Consett at Wembley Stadium.