Here we are with some final tips for the Non-League Day tomorrow and we think this one could be the pick of the bunch as it combines a trip to the sea-side in September sun-shine (we hope) with a visit to the excellent Hillheads and Whitley Bay in action against Celtic Nation. This looks like a cracking day out.
Our final choice for games to recommend on Non-League Day comes from North Tyneside as Whitley Bay host Cumbrian side Celtic Nation in Division One of the Northern League.
The hosts were tipped by some as dark horses for the Northern League title after an impressive summer that saw them bring in the likes of experienced defender Michael Laws from Spennymoor Town and striker Peter Watling from Team Northumbria. The latter bagged an impressive twenty five goals for Team North despite playing in a side relegated from the Northern League’s top tier.
His partnership with the experienced and prolific Paul Chow could and should go on to reap rewards for manager Leon Ryan this season. Ryan is in his first full season in charge at the Bay after he took over from club legend Ian Chandler, who will make his return to Hillheads with his new club Durham City in two weeks time.
Under Ryan the Seahorses began the season in decent fashion drawing at home to a strong Consett side before winning away at Bedlington Terriers. Since then they have failed to win a game, going out of the FA Cup after a replay against Bridlington Town and losing at both Bishop Auckland and Marske United, conceding four in both of those games. In fact since their win at Bedlington their only point came from a draw at struggling Penrith as the two sides shared four goals.
They currently sit in sixteenth position in the league, five places and three points behind their visitors. And what of the Nation? Formerly known as Gilford Park prior to a takeover by Scottish millionaire Frank Lynch and they quickly became one of the most talked about Non-League clubs in the country.
Lynch bankrolled the club with big money being spent on a host of ex professionals including ex Hartlepool United trio Adam Boyd, Graeme Lee and former Newcastle United Reserves full back Paul Arnison. A summer of controversy saw the Nation struggling as Lynch pulled out of the club and sell to former player Steven Skinner, who bizarrely now plays for West Auckland Town yet still owns the Cumbrian outfit. Manager at the club is former United academy midfielder Mark Boyd, who has the unenviable task of picking up the pieces from a summer that saw the vast majority of the club’s star players choose to find new clubs.
The season started off in disastrous fashion with defeats at home to Bishop Auckland and a hammering at Newcastle Benfield. A season of struggle seemed likely with off field matters dominating the scene but to their credit they have managed to improve with a comprehensive 4-1 win at home to an in-form West Allotment Celtic and a comfortable three points gained at home to Bedlington Terriers.
They are still dangerous opponents and the Bay will have to be on top form if they want to get their first win of the season at one of the most iconic Non-League grounds in the region Hillheads.
MATCH INFORMATION: KICK OFF TIME: 3pm
GROUND ADDRESS: Hillheads Park, Rink Way, off Hillheads Road, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear. NE25 8HR
TICKET PRICES: £6 adults, £4 concessions (over 60s and under 14s)
LOCAL METRO STATION: Whitley Bay or Monkseaton, it’s a ten minute walk from either to the Ground that is beside the Ice Rink
LOCAL PUBS: Foxhunters, The Seahorse Club(at Hillheads)
OTHER NOTABLE FIXTURES: A familiar venue for many Newcastle United supporters is Whitley Park, home of Northern League Division One club West Allotment Celtic and of course where the Magpies U21s currently play home games. This Saturday Celtic host Yorkshire outfit Eccleshill United in the FA Vase as they look to continue a decent start to the season with progress a competition that the Northern League has hadconsiderable success in over recent years.
NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION TWO:
Heaton Stannington v Esh Winning 3pm NE7 7HP
BAY PLASTIC GEORGE DOBBINS LEAGUE CUP (NORTHERN ALLIANCE)
Grainger Park BC v Whickham SC 2pm NE15 7HB
Lindisfarne Customer Planet v Gateshead Rutherford 2pm NE28 9JJ
Newcastle Benfield Reserves v Longbenton 2pm NE6 4NU
Newcastle Chemfica Independent v Wooler 2pm NE7 7JX
Wideopen and District v Alnwick Town Reserves 2pm NE13 6LH
MARK CARRUTHERS, FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL
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