Five to watch: Mark Carruthers returns with the key non-league games to attend including Spennymoor Town v Gateshead

Our non-league expert Mark Carruthers returns with five key non-league games to watch this week.
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Easington Colliery v Ryton and Crawcrook Albion

Date: Friday 19th November

Competition: Ebac Northern League Division Two

Five to watch across non-league this week.Five to watch across non-league this week.
Five to watch across non-league this week.

Venue: Welfare Park

Kick-off Time: 7.30pm

This is another of the increasingly popular Friday night fixtures in the Northern League and it seems likely to attract a decent attendance.

Both Easington Colliery and Ryton and Crawcrook Albion are in the mix for promotion into Division One and currently sit in the top four after strong runs of form.

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The Colliers have overcome their early-season inconsistency to hit something of a purple patch after winning their last eight league games with the likes of Liam Adamson, Jack Pounder and Dylan Elliott all hitting form.

Their preparations for Friday night’s fixture were rounded off with a highly-impressive 4-0 win at fellow promotion contenders Newcastle University and they will be favourites to take another three points against Albion.

But the visitors will arrive with confidence after their fine form has taken them into third place in the Division Two table and manager Daniel Iredale has put together a talented squad in his first season in charge at Kingsley Park.

This one could be an absolute cracker!

Player to Watch: Liam Adamson (Easington Colliery)

Spennymoor Town v Gateshead

Date: Saturday 20th November

Competition: Vanarama National League North

Venue: Brewery Field

Kick-off Time: 3pm

The National League North will be a rich source of North East derbies this season and Spennymoor Town’s home clash with Gateshead will be one of the very best.

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The Moors have hit a sticky patch in recent weeks and last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bradford Park Avenue brought a welcome halt on five games without a win and four without troubling the scorers.

Despite that dip, Tommy Miller’s side are still one of the most dangerous sides in non-league’s second tier and sit just outside of the play-off places with 20 points from their 14 fixtures.

Gateshead are sat one place above the Moors - although they have played four games fewer than Saturday’s opponents thanks to their FA Cup exploits.

They head into their Brewery Field day looking to round off a dramatic week on a high after last Saturday’s late league win against Alfreton Town and Tuesday night’s shock FA Cup first round win at National League club Altrincham.

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This derby throws up a number of intriguing angles with several players facing their former clubs and it feels like it’s an unpredictable game.

Player to Watch: Macaulay Langstaff (Gateshead)

Hebburn Town v Marske United

Date: Saturday 20th November

Competition: Pitching-In Northern Premier League East Division

Venue: Green Energy Sports Ground

Kick-off Time: 3pm

This is a clash between two clubs in contrasting form and with confidence level at either end of the scale.

Marske United were heavily tipped to win the Northern Premier League East Division by many onlookers - myself included - and they are living up to the hype after losing just one of their 13 league fixtures so far this season.

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They possess one of the best strikers in step four with Adam Boyes making the trip to Hebburn looking to break the 30-goal mark in all competitions.

But the Seasiders are about so much more than their experienced frontman and they will be confident they can extend a tough run for their hosts.

Injuries are mounting for the Hornets and luck seems conspicuous by its absence as Kevin Bolam looks to shake off a run of form consisting of just one win in their last five games.

That has left Hebburn looking over their shoulders at the East Division relegation zone but there is enough talent in their squad to move up the table quickly.

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Whether that process comes on Saturday, I am not so sure, and I fancy Marske to continue their push for a promotion with yet another win - but it won’t be easy.

Player to Watch: Adam Boyes (Marske United)

North Shields v North Ferriby

Date: Saturday 20th November

Competition: Buildbase FA Vase Second Round

Venue: Daren Persson Stadium

Kick-off Time: 3pm

It’s FA Vase time once again and North Shields are rated as one of the favourites to life the trophy at Wembley next year.

North Ferriby are standing in their way in one of the most attractive ties in the second round this weekend and the Villagers have become a tough Vase opponent for Northern League clubs in recent history.

Seaham Red Star and West Auckland Town both saw their Wembley dreams dashed by the Northern Counties East League side last season - although the latter were given a lifeline by an administration error at North Ferriby.

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Whitley Bay have shown the way for the North Tyneside neighbours with a 5-2 win over North Ferriby in an FA Cup tie earlier this season.

The Robins have one of the strongest squads in the Northern League and it seems certain striker Dan Wilson will have a big say as they look to move one step closer to Wembley.

Player to Watch: Dan Wilson (North Shields)

Thornaby v Consett

Date: Saturday 20th November

Competition: Buildbase FA Vase Second Round

Venue: Teesdale Park

Kick-off Time: 3pm

Fuelled by the disappointment of their Vase Final defeat against Hebburn Town, Consett have their hearts set on returning to Wembley this season.

They will have to overcome a significant obstacle this weekend when they travel to Northern League rivals Thornaby, who have performed above expectations in Division One this season.

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The Teesside outfit are sat in fifth place in the table and have been good value for that position after several impressive wins against strong opposition.

Consett currently sit at the top of the table as they prepare to take a break from their push for promotion but that does not mean Terry Mitchell will allow his players to take things easy.

An intriguing day lies in wait.

Player to Watch: Dale Pearson (Consett)

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