Ground Guide: Brewery Field, Spennymoor.

Northern League Day fixture: Spennymoor Town vs Bedlington Terriers.

The last of north-east football’s big spenders, defending champions Spennymoor Town have comfortably the biggest budget and arguably the best squad of any in the Northern League. With games in hand on both Shildon and Consett in the three-horse race for the title they look likely to end what has been at times – the FA Vase 5th round defeat at Poole and penalty shoot-out loss to Dunston UTS in the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup – a disappointing season on a characteristically high note.

The home side have been involved in several high scoring games so far this season, winning 5-0 at Jarrow Roofing, 6-2 at Ashington and 5-0 at Tow Law Town. At their Brewery Field home, they’ve beaten Ryton 8-1 and Hebburn 6-0, scoring 46 times in 14 games. Top scorer Gavin Cogdon is partnered in attack by Adam Johnston, a two-time FA Vase winner during his spell at Whitley Bay. There are a whole host of familar faces for Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough fans, including goalkeeper Craig Turns, ex-Boro defender Paul Stephenson and Tommy English, who’s turned out in midfield with Newcastle Reserves, Livingston and Queen of the South. Anthony Peacock won the FA Youth Cup with Middlesbrough, Lewis Dodds is a former Sunderland Academy player and England Schoolboy captain, Stephen Capper skippered the Republic Of Ireland in the FIFA World Youth Championships in 2003, and Leon Ryan led Whitley Bay to a 6-1 FA Vase win at Wembley last season.

After a bright start to the season, Bedlington Terriers have tailed off to seventh place, although the league’s top scorer, 34-goal Alex Benjamin, remains a potent threat up front alongside ex-Burnley and York player Anthony Shandran. Defender Chris Carr made the reserve team at Newcastle before moving on to Sheffield Wednesday, Macclesfield Town and Queen of the South.

Kick off is at 3pm on the 9th of April. Admission is £6 (£1 juniors).

The ground, in Wood Vue (postcode DL16 6JN), is among the best in the Northern League with covered seating and a bar in the main stand. Free parking is available at the nearby Town Hall or leisure centre. Arriva buses run from Durham, Bishop Auckland and Darlington. Timetables are here. From Newcastle, take the 21 or X23.

New York Times article on Bedlington Terriers.

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