Expert Mark Carruthers' 'Five to Watch' across the North East non-league scene this week featuring Gateshead v Marske United, South Shields v Buxton and Morpeth Town v York City

Our non-league expert Mark Carruthers’ previews five games to watch this week in the North East.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:53 pm

Morpeth Town v York City

Date: Tuesday 19th October

Competition: Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay

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Mark Carruthers' 'Five to Watch'.

Venue: Craik Park

Kick-off Time: 7.45pm

A hard-earned and deserved draw at the LNER Community Stadium has earned Morpeth Town another chance at pulling off a major upset against National League North club York City on Tuesday night.

You would imagine Craik Park will host its biggest crowd for a number of years as the Highwaymen players look to write their names into the club’s history books by securing a maiden appearance in the FA Cup first round.

On the evidence of their performance of Saturday’s draw against the Minstermen, there is no reason why Craig Lynch’s side couldn’t see off their visitors at the second attempt.

But I also can’t see York putting in an underwhelming performance for the second game in a row and they are a very dangerous opposition with several players capable of ending Morpeth’s dreams of a first round place.

Player to Watch: Liam Noble (Morpeth Town)

Gateshead v Marske United

Date: Tuesday 19th October

Competition: Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay

Venue: International Stadium

Kick-off Time: 7.45pm

I am not sure Saturday’s goalless draw between Marske United and Gateshead really offered anything new for those in attendance.

Marske were gritty, determined and organised, as well as looking menacing when they were on the front foot with the likes of Adam Boyes and Curtis Round prominent in their attempts to continue a wonderful FA Cup run.

Gateshead were solid and disciplined, and their own considerable attacking threat created a number of chances to avoid an upset.

Perhaps a stalemate - albeit a very watchable one - should not have been a surprise and I wouldn’t be shocked if Tuesday night’s replay offers a similarly fascinating watch.

Any thoughts Gateshead have of the job being done should be cast aside by Marske’s impressive win at Chester in the last round and the Seasiders will take heart from that fine performance against National League North opposition.

This tie is far from over and still offers so much.

Player to Watch: Greg Olley (Gateshead)

South Shields v Buxton

Date: Saturday 23rd October

Competition: Pitching-In NPL Premier Division

Venue: 1st Cloud Arena

Kick-off Time: 3pm

South Shields are back into their stride after a recent hiccup and following up their derby triumph against Morpeth Town with a win in their top of the table clash at Matlock Town should send a warning to other clubs in the Northern Premier League’s top tier.

To come through two challenging fixtures with maximum points and without conceding a goal shows that the impact of defeats against Basford United and Bamber Bridge has been washed away.

Saturday’s home meeting with Buxton will be another severe test of their recent improvements with the Derbyshire outfit tipped to be one of the biggest threats to the Mariners’ attempts to secure promotion into the National League North.

The two sides have produced a number of eye-catching affairs over the last three years and this one will not be any different.

Player to Watch: Darius Osei (South Shields)

Ryhope CW v Bury AFC

Date: Saturday 23rd October

Competition: Buildbase FA Vase first round

Venue: The Recreation Ground

Kick-off Time: 3pm

Ryhope have been handed a plum draw in the FA Vase first round as Bury make their way to the North East this coming Saturday.

Formed in response to Steve Dale’s haphazard and quite frankly horrendous ownership of the former Football League club, the new Shakers have made an impressive start to life in the North West Counties Football League’s second tier.

Managed by former Sunderland winger Andy Welsh, Bury currently sit at the top of the table and they are unbeaten in their opening 13 league games of the season.

However, they will face a Ryhope side that are enjoying their own positive start to the campaign and they will head into the game sat in the top eight of the Northern League Division One table.

Ryhope possess numerous attacking threats - and possess one of the Northern League’s most underrated players in James Ellis.

If he hits form on Saturday, Bury could be in for a very shaky trip to Ryhope.

Player to Watch: James Ellis (Ryhope CW)

Heaton Stannington v Eccleshill United

Date: Saturday 23rd October

Competition: Buildbase FA Vase first round

Venue: Grounsell Park

Kick-off Time: 3pm

These are hearty days for the folks at Grounsell Park.

The Stan have plundered their way to 60 goals in 19 league games so far this season and they hold an eight-point lead at the top of the Northern League Division Two table.

The FA Vase has only added to the drama with a penalty shoot-out win at Newcastle University and a fine away day triumph at Barnoldswick Town helping Dean Nicholson’s men take the club into the first round for the first time in 40 years.

Grounsell Park has witnessed a severe upturn in attendances and crowds of over 300 have become a regular occurrence following the impressive displays throughout the season.

This weekend’s historic FA Vase tie against Eccleshill United could even see the season-high of 420 surpassed as the Stan look to reach the second round for the first time since a 2-1 defeat at Ossett Albion in 1981.

History beckons, and with the Stan firing on all cylinders, you can not rule out another impressive display and win this weekend.

Player to Watch: Liam McBryde (Heaton Stannington)