No Newcastle United this weekend as a result of the international break but plenty good football around the doors which we think some of you might be interested in.

Eyes down about some thoughts about great places to get a game in, have a pint and talk shite to your mates.

Sadly Gateshead and South Shields are both away from home this weekend but the mighty Blyth Spartans are at Croft Park where they host Brackley Town.

For what it’s worth I reckon Croft Park is one of the best places in the world to watch football and certainly a fantastic venue for the non-league game. I love it.

More about Blyth v Brackley Town is on the Blyth site – here

As ever, we reckon most of the action is in the Northern League

For the Northumbrians reading this I don’t think many can go past the Ashington v Whickham game in Division 1 at the Hirst Welfare. Two great Geordie clubs and a guaranteed good contest, smashing club-house and a warm welcome. Plus the surface will be brilliant thanks to TF’s man with The Colliers Scott Robson. Do the Colliers Ultras still have their drum and that? How I long for the days of the Pit Pony Express fanzine. NE63 in the area!

Those of you who fancy a bit FA Cup action should know West Allotment Celtic host Bamber Bridge. I don’t think if I’ve ever been to a round of the FAC as early as this one.

Further south a trip to the East End could be in order for those in Newcastle and on the North Tyneside borders as Newcastle Benfield take on Cumbrians Penrith at Sam Smith’s Park. Yours truly is undecided on a stretch of the legs and one of a couple that look inviting.

South of the river, Birtley Town take on Carlisle City at home in Division 2  and that’s another that looks an attractive fixture to take in. Decisions, decisions.

Further out in Durham, the Steelmen of Consett face the lads from the Geordie Riviera, Whitley Bay. Again two great clubs of fine pedigree run by good people.

They are just our options – there are some other great fixtures across the region and you can see them all here:

Where-ever you go, have a great day and don’t forget to put a few bob in the club coffers by buying beer, tea, pies, puin-badges and all of the schmutter that keep these brilliant local institutions gouing.

Keep On, Keepin’ On …

MICHAEL MARTIN