Mark Carruthers: Blyth Spartans, Darlington, Gateshead and Spennymoor Town all at home on Non-League Day

This weekend sees the return of Non-League Day after a two-year Covid-19 inflicted absence.

By Mark Carruthers
Friday, 25th March 2022, 11:36 am

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The initiative - which is always schedule to coincide with an international break - encourages supporters of Premier League and Football League clubs to get behind their local non-league clubs in the absence of fixtures at a higher level.

Over the last 12 years, Non-League Day has become an integral part of the football calendar and has drawn the support of MPs, charities and media organisations around the country.

The North East non-league scene has played a prominent role in each Non-League Day with many of our clubs going above and beyond to attract supporters from the higher levels of the English football pyramid.

Mark Carruthers' column.

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There are plenty of eye-catching fixtures this weekend and, although this feature normally picks out just five, we thought it would be more beneficial to give a more comprehensive overview of the games on offer for supporters this weekend.

Unusually, all four of our highest-ranked non-league clubs all have home fixtures with Blyth Spartans, Darlington, Gateshead and Spennymoor Town all set to host National League North games this weekend.

The same can be said of the third tier of the non-league game with Morpeth Town facing Ashton United at Craik Park and South Shields preparing to entertain Stafford Rangers at the 1st Cloud Arena.

The North East has significant representation in the Northern Premier League East Division with five of the 19 clubs in the league coming from our region.

Two of them hit the road as Shildon and Marske United travel to Ossett United and Pickering Town respectively.

The other three - Dunston UTS, Hebburn Town and Stockton Town - all have home games as they look to continue their recent good form.

Then there is an action-packed fixture list in the Ebac Northern League - a league well known for its strength in depth.

Every part of our region is represented with clubs from Northumberland to North Yorkshire set for action in steps five and six this weekend.

Saturday 26 March Fixtures (3pm kick-off unless stated)

Vanarama National League North

Blyth Spartans v Hereford

Darlington v Boston United

Gateshead v Bradford Park Avenue

Spennymoor Town v Brackley Town

Pitching-In NPL Premier Division

Morpeth Town v Ashton United

South Shields v Stafford Rangers

Pitching-In NPL East Division

Dunston UTS v Cleethorpes Town

Hebburn Town v Tadcaster Albion

Ossett United v Shildon

Pickering Town v Marske United

Stockton Town v Pontefract Collieries

Ebac Northern League Division One

Ashington v Newton Aycliffe

Billingham Town v Sunderland RCA

Guisborough Town v Whitley Bay

Newcastle Benfield v Thornaby

Northallerton Town v Crook Town

North Shields v Penrith

Redcar Athletic v Consett

West Allotment Celtic v Seaham Red Star

West Auckland Town v Bishop Auckland

Ebac Northern League Division Two

Bedlington Terriers v Carlisle City

Billingham Synthonia v Brandon United

Birtley Town v Boldon CA

Blyth Town v Tow Law Town

Chester-le-Street Town v Jarrow

Durham City v Newcastle University

Esh Winning v Sunderland West End

Horden CW v Ryton and Crawcrook Albion

Washington v Willington

There are also fixtures taking place in a number of leagues below Northern League level this weekend.

You can find details on them by clicking on the league names here: Wearside League, Northern Alliance and North Riding Football League.