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2019/20 National League North season guide | Part Two

Moors players celebrate after beating BPA in the Play-Off Eliminator in May.

Unsure of Spennymoor’s opponents for the new season? Wondering who the danger men are? Everything is covered in part two of our 2019/20 National League North team by team season guide.

With Moors’ third campaign at this level looming on the horizon, we take a look at each of our opponents this season.

Read part one here!

Be part of Spennymoor’s biggest ever season and don’t miss a minute by securing your season ticket for the 2019/20 campaign!


GATESHEAD

Player/Manager: Mike Williamson

Last season: 17th (National League) | Looking at Gateshead’s final position last season only tells a tiny fraction of what has become a huge story this summer. At one stage The Heed were looking like serious contenders for a play-off spot despite boasting one of the thinnest squads in the division, but after a nine point deduction following a breach of financial regulations, that goal became unachievable.

Former Newcastle defender Mike Williamson with his assistant, former Moors player Ian Watson.

How do we fare against them? | There haven’t been many meetings down the years, but back in 2004/05, the final year of Spennymoor United, Gateshead beat Moors 5-1. That loss resulted in the resignation of Graeme Clarke.

Summer business | The future of the club was thrown into serious doubt after the actions of Joseph Cala and Dr Ranjan Varghese, resulting in Gateshead being demoted to the National League North. Following a supporter-led takeover, led by Neil Pinkerton and Trevor Clark, there is now hope and optimism where there was once despair. Mike Williamson will adopt a player/manager role with former Moors defender Ian Watson alongside him. Loyal servant JJ O’Donnell has agreed a new deal along with Elliott Forbes and Connor Thompson, while Alex Nicholson and Connor Oliver represent fresh faces. Liam Agnew, who spent a month on loan with Moors last season, joins The Heed on a season long loan.

One to watch | Scott Barrow

The International Stadium Capacity | 11,750. Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 48.8 miles. Last visit | N/A


GLOUCESTER CITY

Manager: Mike Cook

Last season: 17th (National League South) | At one stage The Tigers went 15 games without a win, losing 10 of those, prompting the club to appoint Mike Cook, who steadied the ship and oversaw a strong end to the campaign, meaning Gloucester finished eight points above the drop zone. Following a reshuffle of the leagues, Gloucester, who have played their home games outside of their home town since 2007 following flooding to Meadow Park, now call Evesham United’s Jubilee Stadium their home. However, they are hoping that their new stadium will be ready at some stage this season.

Picture courtesy of Gloucester City and Raging Bull.

How do we fare against them? | There is no history of Spennymoor meeting Gloucester City.

Summer business | A busy summer! The most notable change is the league Gloucester are competing in. They have been transferred from the National League South to the National League North, a division they played in during the 2016/17 season, finishing 10th. Eamonn McGurk and Alex Petheram have been named as joint Chairman, with Jody Gooding taking up the role as Vice Chairman. This follows the news that Rod Jenner stepped down as his role as chairman of the club in early May. Members of last season’s squad have re-signed, with Zack Kotwica, Joe Hanks, Josh Thomas, Tom King, Chris Knowles, James Urwin and Jake Jackson staying on.

One to watch | Josh Thomas

Jubilee Stadium Capacity | 3000 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 440 miles. Last visit | N/A


GUISELEY

Manager: Marcus Bignot/Russ O’Neill

Last season: 19th | Following relegation from the National League in 2018, it was imperative for The Lions to stay in the safety of their new surroundings. They did, just, by finishing one place above the drop zone. It was a season defined by draws – 17 of them – the most in the division. A 1-0 win over Curzon Ashton at the end of March proved to be the defining moment as the Yorkshire outfit pulled away from Ashton United.

Picture courtesy of Leeds United.

How do we fare against them? | Moors took four points from Guiseley last season, drawing 1-1 at Nethermoor after Rowan Liburd cancelled out Glen Taylor’s penalty, before a thriller ensued at The Brewery Field in April. Shane Henry scored a quick fire double to put Moors in control, with Rob Ramshaw heading in a third after Guiseley had pulled one back. Will Hatfield’s ludicrous free-kick made it nervy, but Spennymoor held on.

Summer business | York defender Hamza Bencherif recently became Guiseley’s fifth summer signing. Pakistan international Tabish Hussain, George Cantrill, Will Thornton and Kaine Felix have signed on for the new season, while prolific strikers Gabriel Johnson and Aaron Martin will be hoping to solve The Lions’ problems in front of goal. Andrai Jones, Jamie Spencer and Scott Smith are other new additions.

One to watch | Gabriel Johnson

Nethermoor Park Capacity | 3000 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 130 miles. Last visit | Saturday 17th November 2018


HEREFORD

Head of Football: Tim Harris

Last season: 17th | After three successive promotions, Peter Beadle was sacked as manager of The Bulls on 13th September 2018 after a 2-0 loss at Brackley Town. Results didn’t improve, and it took a fine run of form from December to March to solidy their status in the National League North. Hereford ended the season with no wins in their final six games. Their final victory of the campaign…a 2-0 win at The Brewery Field.

Picture courtesy of Hereford FC.

How do we fare against them? | As previously mentioned, Hereford capitalised on an indifferent and frustrating March for Moors and won 2-0 at The Brewery Field. However, in the return fixture in September, Jason Ainsley praised his side for one of the finest displays of the season. Goals from Mark Anderson, Glen Taylor and Adam Boyes capped a comfortable 3-0 win on the club’s first ever visit to Edgar Street.

Summer business | Hereford mean business this summer. Jordan Cullinane-Liburd and Mike Symons have both signed new deals. Well travelled Gibraltar striker Reece Styche and former Rotherham United winger Alex Bray will give them more attacking edge, while goalkeeper Brandon Hall has arrived from Kidderminster. Experienced defender Martin Riley joins from Alfreton Town.

One to watch | Rowan Liburd

Edgar Street Capacity | 4913 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 486 miles. Last visit | Saturday 29th September 2018


KETTERING TOWN

Manager: Nicky Eaden

Last season: 1st (Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division) | A memorable campaign for Marcus Law’s side, who gained promotion to the National League North thanks to a staggering 30 wins from 42 games – seven more than King’s Lynn in second place. Town finished 14 points ahead at the summit and scored 84 times. Eight wins from their first nine set the standard.

Photo courtesy of Kettering Town.

How do we fare against them? | There is no record of Spennymoor Town playing Kettering Town.

Summer business | Marcus Law announced his resignation in mid-June after his success last season, with ex-Nuneaton manager Nicky Eaden stepping in. He was quick to make his mark, retaining eight of the squad from last year. Paul White, Brett Solkhon, Gary Stohrer, James Brighton, Aaron O’Conner, Ben Milnes, Lindon Meikle and Marcus Kelly have all agreed new deals.

One to watch | Brett Solkhon

Latimer Park Capacity | 2400 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 404 miles. Last visit | N/A


KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

Manager: John Pemberton

Last season: 10th | A promising start which heralded 19 points from a possible 21 in their first seven games had Harriers’ fans hoping for a title challenge, but inconsistency followed in a season of change. After John Eustace left for QPR at the end of the 2017/18 season, Neil MacFarlane came in. The club parted company with him after a 3-0 defeat at Darlington at the turn of the year, prompting the arrival of Mark Yates at the end of January. Yates left at the end of April, meaning John Pemberton became the fourth Harriers boss in the space of a year.

Picture courtesy of Kidderminster Harriers.

How do we fare against them? | In the four meetings so far, Moors have won just once, a vital 2-1 victory in January when Harriers were without a manager. Kiddy won by the same scoreline in March thanks to two Ashley Chambers goals. The two games in 2017/18 both ended in draws.

Summer business | With Brandon Hall departing to Hereford, young goalkeeper Tom Palmer has signed a new deal. Richard Peniket has retuned to Aggborough, while defender Cliff Moyo is on board from Guiseley.

One to watch | Milan Butterfield

Aggborough Capacity | 6444 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 420 miles. Last visit | Saturday 16th March 2019


KING’S LYNN TOWN

Manager: Ian Culverhouse

Last season: 2nd (Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division) | The Linnets finished 14 points behind fellow National League North outfit Kettering Town last season, but after beating Stratford and Alvechurch in the play-off’s, they set up a super play-off final with Northern Premier League side Warrington Town. In a dramatic match, King’s Lynn were five minutes from defeat before Adam Marriot’s penalty forced extra-time. Michael Gash struck after 115 minutes to break Warrington hearts and send Ian Culverhouse’s side into the National League North.

Picture courtesy of King’s Lynn Town.

How do we fare against them? | Moors are yet to meet King’s Lynn.

Summer business | Despite a few outgoings, King’s Lynn have recruited the services of Sam Kelly, Sonny Carey and Nathan Fox.

One to watch | Adam Marriott

Walks Stadium Capacity | 2680 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 380 miles. Last visit | N/A


LEAMINGTON

Manager: Paul Holleran

Last season: 13th | Leamington consolidated themselves in the National League North after narrowly avoiding relegation in 2017/18. They started superbly and maintained a good level of consistency to stay clear of the drop zone, eventually finishing above the ambitious Southport.

Photo courtesy of Leamington FC.

How do we fare against them? | Four games, three wins. Last season late goals from Adam Boyes and Mark Anderson sealed a 2-0 win at The New Windmill Ground, before Anderson again found the net in the return fixture, securing a tight 1-0 win, aided by Matthew Gould’s superb penalty save. The less said about the 4-0 loss away from home in 2017/18, the better.

Summer business | The most important news comes in the form of Colby Bishop, who scored 21 times last season, and captain Tony Breedan signing new deals. Tricky winger Ahmed Obeng has left, but The Brakes have brought in Cieron Keane, who ended last season at Basford United. Josh March and Reece King have joined from Alvechurch and Hednesford Town respectively.

One to watch | Colby Bishop

New Windmill Ground Capacity | 2300 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 392 miles. Last visit | Saturday 8th September 2018


SOUTHPORT

Manager: Liam Watson

Last season: 14th | Southport had ambitions of challenging at the top end of the division, but four defeats in their first four games, coupled with one win from their opening 14 league games saw a mid-table finish. A superb run of form over Christmas brought optimism into the new year, with The Sandgrounders winning five and drawing two over the festive season.

Photo courtesy of Southport FC.

How do we fare against them? | Moors have gained a habit of scoring late against Southport. First, Glen Taylor netted a last gasp winner in the 2017/18 season, before he repeated the feat a year later to earn a 1-1 draw. Taylor again rescued a point with penalty in March to cancel out Jack Sampson’s goal.

Summer business | Lots going on. First, much like Moors, Southport are getting a new pitch installed ahead of the new campaign. On the pitch, Kieran Glynn, who won promotion with Salford in 2017 and featured for promotion winners Chorley and Woking last season, is hoping to be a lucky charm for Southport this time around.

One to watch | Jack Sampson

Merseyrail Community Stadium Capacity | 6008 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 254 miles. Last visit | Saturday 1st September 2018


YORK CITY

Manager: Steve Watson

Last season: 12th | A disruptive and ultimately disappointing season for The Minstermen ended with a mid-table finish. Martin Gray’s tenure at Bootham Crescent came to end just weeks into the season after seven points from a possible 15 in their first five games. Sam Collins stepped in, temporarily turning the club’s fortunes around before four defeats in five games had the alarm bells ringing. Collins was replaced by Steve Watson after a 1-0 loss at Curzon Ashton, but the former Gateshead manager lost three of his first four. However, just two defeats in their final 13 league games marked significant improvement ahead of a season where big things are expected.

Photo courtesy of York City.

How do we fare against them? | It’s never dull when Moors have met York since the 2017/18 season. The Minstermen won 4-2 at The Brewery Field in the first ever meeting between the club’s, before an enthralling 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture. Moors did the double over York last year, winning 3-0 at home before a late Ryan Hall winner sealed a 3-2 win along with a spot in the play-offs.

Summer business | First, the planned move to their new home has been delayed, so York will begin their season at Bootham Crescent. They have been busy in terms of incomings, with Blyth trio Dan Maguire, Pete Jameson and Kieran Green swapping part-time football for the full-time experience. Striker Macaulay Langstaff, defender Joe Tait and midfielder Adriano Moke have signed new deals.

One to watch | Dan Maguire

Bootham Crescent Capacity | 8,256 Away mileage round trip (from The Brewery Field) | 135 miles. Last visit | Friday 19th April 2019


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