As you will all know there is no United game this weekend, so a free Saturday beckons and unless you have some kind of masochistic streak involving IKEA or decorating the netty, we heartily recommend getting your arse in gear and getting out to one of the many non-league matches this weekend. But whilst yours truly will be heading along the Felling Bypass for Gateshead v Aldershot, our partners at For The Love Of Football have some recommendations of their own and here they are. Where-ever you go, have a great time, support our excellent non-league scene.
MATCH: Dunston UTS v Spennymoor Town
COMPETITION: FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
VENUE: UTS Stadium, Wellington Road, Gateshead
ENTRY: £5 adults, £2.50 concessions
KICK OFF TIME: 3pm
NEAREST TRAIN STATION: Gateshead Metrocentre
NEAREST METRO: Gateshead
LOCAL PUBS: Don’t bother going elsewhere, just head to the clubhouse at the ground. One of the best around I reckon
MATCH CRAIC With United almost apologetically or should that be perhaps accidentally advancing in a cup competition why not match the cup…ahem…fever shown at the House of Pain by venturing South of the Tyne and visiting Dunston UTS on Saturday. It’s FA Cup time again and Billy Irwin’s side defeat of fellow Northern League First Division side Marske United means that Spennymoor Town will make the trip North for a Second Qualifying Round match.
There’s plenty to like about Dunston as well. I mean for football fans of a certain age any ground that offers the opportunity to take in a match from the Paul Gascoigne Stand has to be worth a visit. There’s another former Magpie link as in August the club announced that Pavel Srnicek would become their first ever honorary president. There’s plenty of attacking talent on display in Irwin’s side with the likes of Scott Fenwick and Andrew Bulford both dangerous on their day.
While Fenwick is a UTS new boy Bulford is something of a club legend having made his debut back in August 2008 and ended the following three seasons as the club’s top scorer. He was also an FA Vase winner with Dunston in 2012 as they beat West Auckland Town in the final. The striker notched both goals in a 2-0 win over the County Durham outfit, walking away with the man of the match in the process. Spennymoor Town head to the UTS Stadium in decent form and despite an Evo-Stik First Division North defeat at Warrington Town last Saturday the Moors still sit in seventh position in the league, just two points off the play off spots.
They did bounce back from that defeat at Warrington with a comprehensive 5-0 home win over a beleaguered Ossett Albion side. They made their way into the Second Qualifying Round with an entertaining and hard fought 3-2 win at Bishop Auckland, the win finally sealed thanks to Michael Roberts’ 72nd minute goal after Bishops had twice pegged back Jason Ainsley’s side. As with their hosts the Moors boast an impressive wealth of attacking talent with the likes of Gavin Cogden and Liam Henderson both hitting the back of the net with regularity.
The latter is a man in form too with six goals this season including four in his last four appearances. This is the kiss of death but I think this could well have goals all over the place and the possibility of a cup shock if Dunston are on their game. Either way it’s well worth a visit this coming Saturday.
OTHER GAMES TO LOOK OUT FOR:
NORTH TYNESIDE – North Shields v Consett, Heaton Stannington v Stokesley Sports Club (Both Northern League fixtures)
NORTHUMBERLAND – Ashington v West Auckland Town, Alnwick Town v Ryhope CW(Both Northern League fixtures)
GATESHEAD – Gateshead v Aldershot Town(Conference),
SOUTH TYNESIDE – Hebburn Town v Esh Winning
WEARSIDE: Washington v South Shields
COUNTY DURHAM – Shildon v Stalybridge Celtic (FA Cup 2QR), Durham City v Celtic Nation, Birtley Town v Northallerton Town (Both Northern League fixtures)
MARK CARRUTHERS, FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL
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