For any Newcastle supporters not heading to Villa Park on Saturday – or those who will stumble out of the local watering hole still needing a live football fix – then there is a big game in the Northern League at Jarrow Roofing on offer. The visitors to Boldon CA Sports Ground are a Shildon side considered by many to be favourites for the Northern League title this season. The hosts are an extremely well ran club who have received national recognition this week in the form of articles on the BBC website and one written by George Caulkin in the Times based around Roofing stalwart Richie McLoughlin. A man who sums up what Non-League football is all about having founded the Roofers and also acts as Chairman, Treasurer, Main Sponsor, Groundsman, Chief Scout and does all of the general repairs at the club….and you think you have a tough job Mr Ashley?
In fact probably one of the only jobs Richie doesn’t do is work in the club’s vibrant media team. However there is no need for that as the Roofers boast one of the most impressive Non-League media teams around and it ranks alongside many in the professional game.
Their media output is worth a view on every single level. There is ambition on the playing side as has been shown by an impressive summer recruitment campaign, the latest addition being former Scotland Under 21 international Peter Leven but notable signings during the summer include former Spennymoor Town defender Alex White and prolific striker John Campbell.
And what of the visitors? As mentioned earlier Shildon are one of the fancied sides for this season’s Northern League Division One title and rightly so. The Railwaymen have a squad packed with some big names in the North East Non-League scene and they have started the season in clinical fashion. Experienced duo Mark Hudson and Paul Connor are probably the biggest names in the squad with considerable Football League experience to boast of but excitement can be found in the form of Michael Rae, Sam Garvie and Adam Rundle. With seven points from a possible nine they currently sit in third behind Marske United and Durham City and goals seem guaranteed with Shildon, something that seems to have been confirmed by their 7-0 destruction of Crook Town in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup last Saturday.
A tantalising fixture lies in wait for anyone who chooses to visit.
KICK OFF: 3pm
GROUND POSTCODE: NE35 9LN
ADMISSION: £6 adults, £4 concessions over 65 years old and under 16
although ID may be requested)
NEAREST METRO: Brockley Whins
LOCAL PUBS: The Flat Tops and the Colliery Tavern. Small pubs with an
atmosphere and not the gastro nonsense that is all the rage these days.
BEST OF THE REST
Elsewhere in the Northern League top tier there are a number of games
worth a look at. Struggling Bedlington Terriers host a very exciting
North Shields side who scored over a century of goals last season and
are always good value for money. Following the shock resignation of
manager Peter Dixon, West Auckland Town entertain a resurgent Durham
City who have began the season with four wins out of four in all
competitions. In Division Two of the Northern League another surprise
package are Ryton and Crawcrook Albion who currently sit in third behind
Team Northumbria and Birtley Town. The Albion host Thornaby and will be
looking to continue a run of form that has seen them on a three match
winning streak after victories over Tow Law Town, Darlington RA and
Further up the pyramid Gateshead will look to continue their impressive start to the Conference season as they host a Grimsby Town side who they beat over two legs in last years play off semi finals. In the Evo-Stik NPL First Division North – what a mouthful that is – Spennymoor Town host Prescot Cables as the Moors look to bounce back from Tuesday night’s home defeat to Darlington.
MARK CARRUTHERS – FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL. Click here.
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