Six North East teams will be in action in the FA Cup second qualifying round this weekend, with every game being played at a home ground in the region.
Flying the flag as the sole remnant of the Northern League, Bishop Auckland will travel to Mariner’s Park in the only all North East tie where they will face off against a South Shields side who are flying high three divisions above the two-blues in the National League North.
The other three sides of the region that share the same league as the Mariners will also enter the competition at this stage, with all but one joining them in playing on Saturday with Darlington being one of few Friday night games as they face Workington at Blackwell Meadows.
Apart from Bishop Auckland only one side from outside the National League North remains, with Morpeth Town in the step below facing a familiar foe in the competition in Southport. The Highwaymen journeyed to their opponents in the FA Cup 2020, suffering a 2-1 defeat at Haig Avenue.
A much more consistent opponent awaits Blyth Spartans, coming up against league competitors with whom they have a fair share of recent history in Bradford (Park Avenue). After going winless in six against the North Yorkshire side, Graham Fenton managed his side to a victory in February of this year with a Troy Chiabi goal proving the decisive factor.
Fourth and fifth in their respective leagues, Spennymoor Town and Marine have both enjoyed a successful start to their league campaigns. The Brewery Field will see the two sides face off for the first time since Spennymoor was promoted to step two.