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

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

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 11:59 am

South Shields v Morpeth Town

Date: Tuesday 12th October

Competition: Pitching-In Northern Premier League Premier Division

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Mark Carruthers' 'Five to Watch'.

Venue: 1st Cloud Arena

Kick-off Time: 7.45pm

There is probably little reason to explain why this is such a big game and the rivalry built up since their Northern League days and that FA Vase tie means this is a must-see fixture.

But in isolation, this remains a massive game for both sides for very different reasons.

Morpeth’s form under caretaker manager Craig Lynch has been very impressive and they will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to an eighth game at the 1st Cloud Arena. With the return of several key players, Lynch has some big decisions to make ahead of one of the biggest weeks in the club’s history.

By contrast, South Shields will be hoping to avoid a third consecutive defeat after they were left empty-handed in their last two games against Bamber Bridge and Basford United.

Graham Fenton - and the majority of what will surely be an over-2,000 crowd - will expect to see a strong reaction to that pair of defeats with a win.

Despite their recent blip, the Mariners still lie just three points behind leaders Matlock Town, who face a visit to bottom of the table Grantham Town on Tuesday night.

You would expect the leaders will pick up three points - and that means the pressure is really on South Shields to match that feat against Morpeth.

Player to Watch: Darius Osei (South Shields)

Horden CW v Durham City

Date: Tuesday 12th October

Competition: Ebac Northern League Division Two

Venue: Welfare Park

Kick-off Time: 7.45pm

On the face of things, this should be a routine home win for Horden as they face a Durham City side sat at the bottom of the Division Two table.

The Citizens will visit Horden looking to claim their first win of the season - but the real story is about a historic occasion for the hosts.

For the first time since they returned to the Northern League in the summer, Horden will play a midweek home game under their new floodlights.

The hard work and dedication of their committee and fundraisers will pay off and they will hope to mark the occasion by continuing their impressive start to the season with a win.

Player to Watch: Olly Hotchkiss (Horden CW)

Marske United v Gateshead

Date: Saturday 16th October

Competition: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round

Venue: Mount Pleasant

Kick-off Time: 3pm

Marske United have enjoyed a remarkable FA Cup run and they will reach new heights if they can claim one more notable win this weekend.

After following up expected victories over Seaham Red Star and Pickering Town with shock wins against South Shields and Chester, Carl Jarrett’s men will face National League North promotion chasers Gateshead at Mount Pleasant in one of the fourth qualifying round’s most attractive ties.

Adam Boyes will be the man to watch for the Heed, but to suggest he is Marske’s only threat would be far from the truth with Jarrett putting together one of the most high quality squads in step four of the non-league pyramid.

Gateshead will travel with confidence and they possess one of the most dangerous strikers in non-league’s second tier with Macaulay Langstaff scoring a goal a game in all competitions this season.

This one should be an absolute cracker of an FA Cup tie.

Player to Watch: Adam Boyes (Marske United)

York City v Morpeth Town

Date: Saturday 16th October

Competition: Buildbase FA Trophy Fourth Qualifying Round

Venue: LNER Community Stadium

Kick-off Time: 3pm

History beckons for Morpeth Town - but they will have to overcome one rather significant challenge before Craig Lynch and his players can write their names in club folklore.

The Highwaymen have reached the fourth and final qualifying round for only the second time in their history and their caretaker manager will hope to do something no other manager has done before by leading them into the first round proper.

National League North club York City stand in their way, and although Morpeth could travel there on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run if they come through Tuesday’s trip to South Shields unscathed, the Minstermen will be their biggest challenge yet.

Steve Watson’s men have found form after a difficult start to the season and they will be heavy favourites to progress into the first round - but this is the FA Cup and we all know anything can happen.

Player to Watch: Andrew Johnson (Morpeth Town)

Consett v North Shields

Date: Saturday 16th October

Competition: Ebac Northern League Division One

Venue: Belle View

Kick-off Time: 3pm

Prior to the start of the season, this fixture was seen as a meeting of two Division One title contenders and, although Consett look the more likely to live up to that tag, their meeting with North Shields promises so much.

These are two sides that like to play an attractive style of football and possess several of the Northern League’s best attacking players.

Consett will be boosted by the return of top goalscorer Dale Pearson and North Shields will hope their own key striker Dan Wilson will carry on his fine form.

This one could depend on which striker enjoys the more profitable day at Belle View - but one thing seems certain, goals are just about guaranteed here.

Player to Watch: Luke Carr (Consett)