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Author:  Interpol [ Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  BUGLE NO.7


With only a month of the Northern League season to go, we take a look at the likely opponents Town will face next season - either those who face relegation from division one or promotion from either the Wearside League, Northern Alliance or North Riding League respectively. First we start with the relegation candidates.

The whipping boys of division one, noises coming from Synners is that the club are already making plans for next season. Many people felt, including myself that Synners were in a moribund state and close to extinction! Wrong! Although information is sketchy, they have already arranged with Norton to play another season at Station Road. Also, former Spennymoor Town manager, Jamie Pollock could be taking over the helm. If true, then expect them to be competitive once again!

The Wearside club came close to resigning from the Northern League during the summer but ploughed on, making it known that resources were at a premium. Predictably they have struggled but managed to put Guisborough in their place recently with a 3-0 win. However, that victory has only papered over the cracks but under the circumstances, Washington can be proud of their efforts. Left their home ground and currently play at Sunderland Nissans complex.

Now this would be a major shock if Bishops were to be relegated and at the moment, they’re fighting with Jarrow Roofing for a place in division one next season (Penrith appear to be safe). For years they wanted to progress up the pyramid but never had the quality to achieve their lofty aims. After our vase win last season, Bishops went on a relentless run in the FA Cup so their current predicament raises serious questions on what has gone wrong. A terrific ground, padded seats, and a great view - Bishops would be a welcome addition to division two.

Potentially three close derbies next season if Roofing were to be relegated and Boldon CA get promoted and join Jarrow in division two. Roofing were and probably still are funded by businessman Richie McLoughlin - the club named after his own company. Roofing’s ground may not win any aesthetic awards but if next door neighbours (literally) Boldon were to be promoted then it could help raise the profile of all three said clubs.

A hike across the A66 but Penrith, like Bishop Auckland have impressive stadiums. They usually flourish at this time of year but Jarrow Roofing do have three games in hand. Thrashed Washington 7-1 on Saturday.

The average Town supporter maybe forgiven if they didn’t know where Cleator are based. Those that do know will be hoping that Cleator gain promotion into the North West Counties League. If Penrith were to be relegated then Town face the prospect of travelling to the far side of the Lake District at least twice. If Cleator were to join the Northern League then expect a competitive team.

For so long the perennial bridesmaids of the Wearside League thanks to the behemoth that is Stockton Town. After losing out to Jarrow last season, they face competition in Cleator Moor but have several games in hand. If Cleator were to win the league, and move into the NWC league then Redcar would be in a prime position for that promotion place but even then there is another potential rival who we will focus on next. In January, Redcar improved their floodlights and have been making preparations for NL football which would include a new seated stand.

Outsiders for promotion and look set to finish behind Cleator and Redcar (Hebburn Town Reserves not allowed promotion). Challenged Jarrow & Redcar for promotion last season and look set to fall short once again. With the prospect of Jarrow Roofing facing relegation, Boldon will be doing their utmost in the closing weeks if Cleator or Redcar were to slip-up. Town faced Boldon CA last season in The Durham Challenge Cup - Winning a close encounter 3-2.

I have to confess that I know little about their set-up and information on them is scarce. They applied for promotion last season from the Northern Alliance League but withdrew their application. I would imagine the club will be based on Team Northumbria’s initial principles - a team that consists of students.

Relegated from division two during 2015/16 season, Birtley opted to join the Northern Alliance League rather than the Wearside, possibly citing an easier opportunity in returning to the Northern League. Finished behind Killingworth and Newcastle University last season and once again, the students continue to be a thorn in Birtley’s side. Ground is up to standard so shouldn’t be any problems on that score.

Dominated the Teesside League for years and currently top The North Riding League. Last season, Boro Rangers were playing our reserves on the back pitch but could face the first team next season. Currently playing at Herlingshaw Centre in Ormesby, Rangers would need to ground share to fulfil ground graded requirements. A possible temporary move to Stokesley maybe an option but a ground of their own would need to be required in the long term.

Need a suitable ground...If Stokesley isn’t the option, the other possibilities could be Thornaby & Guisborough for Marske United continue to have issues with their pitch.

Whether home or away, against any of these clubs barring Bishop Auckland and Penrith, Town will be in their home colours!

If Boro Rangers do manage to ground-share, they will see it as a marriage made in heaven! For Town they would be welcome additions along with Synthonia & Redcar Athletic. More derbies, more fans and more income! No vows or promises of promotion from Town - meanwhile the new boys will enjoy the honeymoon period, but will soon find that the Northern League can be unforgiving! Whoever Town face next season, we look forward to it and welcome them all into division two.

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