The Northern Football League
Published 24th August 2012
Northern League clubs will be looking for more success against outside leagues in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup tomorrow.
Northern League clubs have done well in recent years, especially against others from the Evo-Stik Northern Premeir League First Division North and Baris Northern Counties East League.
Norton & Stockton Ancients manager Andy Campbell is hoping that his team stops what he calls “suicide defending” for their away tie at NCEL side Tadcaster Albion.
Campbell, who once scored for Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, said: “We need to learn quick that we can’t keep making the same mistakes over and over.” Campbell has been trying to strengthen his squad this week, and is hoping to complete the signings of defender Phil Gray from Darlington 1883 and striker Peter Bulmer from Consett before the game. Keeper Jim Provett and defender Dave Alderson both return.
Tadcaster beat Consett after a replay in the last round, but Bulmer didn’t figure.
Hebburn Town, who had a good run last season, have hopes of another good run at home to Ossett Albion from the NPL First Division North, and they will give fitness tests to striker Liam McBryde and midfielder Mark Rasmussen, while Tony Stephenson, Paul Wardle and James Luccock will all have fitness tests.
South Shields are at Harrogate RA from the NPL, and manager Jon King could keep the same team that beat Norton in midweek.
Jarrow Roofing are at home to another NPL club, Farsley FC, and manager Richie McLoughlin will have to do without defenders Ian Dixon and Anth Myers.
Crook Town are at home to North West Counties League club Holker Old Boys, the conquerors of Newton Aycliffe in the previous round, and they are struggling to field a strong team because seven players are missing for various reasons, but striker David Paul returns.
There are several all-Northern League ties. Bishop Auckland are at home to Esh Winning, who gave Spennymoor Town a close game in the competition last season. Bishops will be without striker Dan Hawkins because of injury, as well as defenders Phil Shead and Wayne Clarke.
Esh, who haven’t won yet in the Second Division, will give striker Ian Ward a fitness test, while midfielder Alex Wilson is at work.
Birtley Town, who won their first ever FA Cup tie in the previous round, are at home to West Auckland Town from a division above them, and they will give James Allsopp a fitness test, but they will be missing Scott Garrett and Dan Hepplewhite. West are virtually at full strength, with striker Stuart Banks back in the squad.
Spennymoor will be wary of Second Division West Allotment Celtic at the Brewery Field, but manager Jason Ainsley has several injury problems.
Strikers Micky Rae and Steve Richardson, plus winger Wayne Phillips are all out with hamstring problems, but another winger, Craig Ruddy, returns to the squad.
Allotment manager Paul Stoneman, who has scored in each of his side’s two league games so far, adds Marc Dummett and Sean Reid to his squad, but three others, Liam Hudson, Michael Bell and Michael Rush are all missing.
Shildon face Guisborough Town in one of several all-First Division games, and manager Gary Forrest could rest some of his players with a big league game against Spennymoor coming up on Monday morning.
Guisborough, who lost 6-0 at home to Spennymoor in midweek, have a big injury doubt over striker Austin Johnston, but they are definitely missing Paul Roddam, Lee Bythway, brother Luke, Joel Guy and Danny Dixon. But on the plus side, Michael Jameson and Jack Connor both return to the side.
The two sides met in the FA Cup last season, Shildon winning by a single goal.
Dunston UTS go across to Celtic Nation, having lost both their opening league games. Manager Billy Irwin will probably choose from a full squad, although winger Terry Galbraith is doubtful.
Celtic Nation are almost certain to make changes after a poor defeat at Consett in midweek, with Paul Arnison , Michael Reed and James Earl all injured. But Marc Shiel and Ryan Errington return.
Whitley Bay meet Bedlington Terriers in a local derby at Hillheads, and they welcome back defender Craig McFarlane after suspension, but Callum Anderson is still missing.
Marske United are at home to Ashington, and they will give fitness tests to defender Curtis Collantine and midfielder Karl Charlton, while midfielder Kieran Edwards is unavailable. Striker Benn Thompson is missing because of injury.
Former Darlington midfielder Josh Gray will be missing because of injury for Ashington, as will striker Phil Bell. Jonny Godsmark and Gareth Rees are already out long-term because of injury.
Durham City meet Billingham Town at New Ferens Park and City manager Dickie Ord could make changes after two league defeats in the last seven days. Town are hoping that defender Richie Gaston will return.