It’s FA Cup time again and four of our Non-League clubs are within touching distance of a First Round proper tie against the likes of former winners Coventry City or Portsmouth. While Gateshead face a more than winnable home game with Gainsborough Trinity, Blyth Spartans and Northern League side Shildon face away ties at Leek Town and Norton United respectively. However it’s Evo-Stik First Division side Spennymoor Town who are our pick of the weekend and they have an attractive looking home fixture. Conference side AFC Telford United make the trip to the Brewery Field on Saturday and hopes are high at the Moors that a shock is more than possible.
The County Durham outfit are in fine form at the moment and it’s safe to say the club is on a high. Promotion from the Northern League was secured last season and that momentum has gathered pace culminating in a mightily impressive win over Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Ashton United in the Third Qualifying Round. Jason Ainsley’s side have managed to maintain their league form too and are well within sight of the promotion places in their division. In fact they sit in the final play off spot and are seven points behind leaders Darlington with three games in hand on the Quakers.
Recent form has been impressive with cup progress made in the FA Trophy with a thrilling win over Harrogate Railway and in the Durham Challenge Cup with a 4-0 hammering of Darlington. Their last league fixture came on Tuesday 14th October as they ventured to a Lancaster City side managed by one Darren Peacock and the Moors returned with a fine 4-1.
Their visitors also gained promotion last season by winning the Conference North and are now one division below the Football League. However life at a higher level hasn’t been kind to the Bucks as they sit rock bottom of the Conference with only ten points from their seventeen games.
They do seem to have picked up a little bit since the start of the season which saw them go twelve games without a win. Included in that poor run of form was a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Gateshead. A 4-3 win at home to Torquay United finally got them a first win of the season and their second win came in their last League fixture with a 3-1 away win at Woking.
In terms of local interest and connections with Newcastle they do have Charlie Barnett in midfield, a player Sam Allardyce took on trial in his only summer at St James Park. The former Liverpool youngster made a friendly appearance against Juventus at St James but it wasn’t enough to win a permanent deal. They do also count Geordie lad Andy Sinton as one of their former managers however the former Sheffield Wednesday winger left the club “by mutual consent” in January 2013.
MATCH INFORMATION KICK OFF TIME: 3pm
GROUND ADDRESS: The Brewery Field, Wood View, Spennymoor, County Durham.
TICKET PRICES: £8 adults, £5 concessions (Over 60) and £3 Junior
LOCAL TRAIN STATION: Durham, although a bus or taxi(costing around £8)
will be required to get to the ground
LOCAL PUBS: Winning Post, The Grand Electric Hall
COUNTRY DURHAM: Consett v Crook Town, West Auckland Town v Bedlington
Terriers (Both NLD1)
NORTH TYNESIDE: North Shields v Celtic Nation (NLD1),
NEWCASTLE: Heaton Stannington v Brandon United (NLD2)
GATESHEAD: Gateshead v Gainsborough Trinity (FAC4QR), Ryton & Crawcrook
Albion v Whickham (NLD2)
SOUTH TYNESIDE: Jarrow Roofing v Bishop Auckland (NLD1), South Shields v
Norton & Stockton Ancients (NLD2)
WEARSIDE: Sunderland RCA v Newcastle Benfield (NLD1), Washington v Esh
NORTHUMBERLAND: Ashington v Penrith, Morpeth Town v Newton Aycliffe
A full list of local fixtures can be found here
MARK CARRUTHERS, FROM FOR LOVE OF FOOTBALL