As Tyneside and Wearside awaits the first instalment of the twice yearly “Two bald men fighting over a comb” competition that takes place on Sunday there is a free Saturday for most United fans. What better way to spend it than heading down to a local non-league game and getting behind clubs that are in need of added support and the finances that inevitably come with it.
Twenty fours before the first Tyne-Wear clash of the season there is another clash involving clubs from both sides of the water in the second tier of the Northern League and it is a game that will have some impact on the movers and shakers in their division.
MATCH: Team Northumbria v Seaham Red Star
COMPETITION: Northern League Division Two
VENUE: Coach Lane Campus
ENTRY: £5.00 adults, £1.00 concessions
KICK OFF TIME: 3pm
NEAREST METRO: Four Lane Ends which is about a ten to fifteen minute walk away from Coach Lane Campus
LOCAL PUBS: Black Bull, Benton Ale House
Tyneside meets Wearside this weekend but the meeting taking place at Coach Lane Campus has more at stake than just local pride. Team Northumbria host an in-form Seaham Red Star side as the Students look to bounce back from relegation from the Northern League’s top tier at the first time of asking. Their visitors are also looking to put disappointment lingering from last season behind them after they narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two, finishing just a point behind Jarrow Roofing who took the third and final promotion spot.
Team North sit in third position in the league and are six points behind their visitors who lead the way. Only Norton and Stockton Ancients separate them and they are a point ahead of the students. However Red Star do have games in hand thanks to their impressive cup form this season.
The Students have been in decent form in December, winning all three of their fixtures during the festive month. Their Scrooge-like defence (sorry!) has kept clean sheets against Heaton Stannington, Billingham Town and Darlington RA during those three wins to set them up nicely for the game with Red Star. It’s a game that is an essential win for Team North if they have any ideas of clawing their way back into the title race.
If they are to do so then much will depend on the form of top scorer Ben Dibb-Fuller and recent addition from West Allotment Celtic, David Dormand. The latter fired Celtic into the upper tier of the Northern League with an impressive showing last campaign but somewhat surprisingly opted for a move to Team North last month.
Red Star head to North Tyneside in scintillating form with only one defeat in their last eleven games, that coming in the FA Vase against Division One side North Shields. During that run the Wearside outfit
have posted impressive wins against Washington and Darlington RA in the league and perhaps more impressively Whitley Bay and Artherton Collieries in the League Cup and FA Vase respectively.
Leading the way for a vastly experienced Red Star lineup are the likes of Chris McCabe, Lee Kerr and Sonny Andrews, all of whom have experience further up the league pyramid. Top scorer is Andrews who moved to Red Star during the summer and has an impressive nineteen goals this season.
The impressive David Palmer has already posted fifteen, perhaps even more impressive given that they have come from midfield.
Whatever happens at Coach Lane Campus this one should be an absolute cracker (sorry…again!) and one that should warm even the chilliest of North Tyneside winter afternoons.
OTHER GAMES TO LOOK OUT FOR:
NORTH TYNESIDE – Whitley Bay v Marske United, Heaton Stannington v Washington
NORTHUMBERLAND – Ashington v North Shields, Morpeth Town v Jarrow Roofing
GATESHEAD – Dunston UTS v Crook Town
SOUTH TYNESIDE – Hebburn Town v Alnwick Town
COUNTY DURHAM – Shildon v Guisborough Town
MARK CARRUTHERS – FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL
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