By Matt Bishop
The football season is well and truly up and running now, with another jam-packed evening of National League North action ahead this evening, and three teams are hoping to continue their perfect starts.
After thumping North Ferriby United 5-0 on Saturday, early leaders Brackley Town return to home soil tonight and take on Nuneaton Town, with James Armson at the peak of his powers after a stunning four goal haul against the Villagers.
Darlington are also looking to continue their 100% record as they host York City in what promises to be a mouthwatering fixture. Despite tasting opening day defeat, The Minstermen are still promotion favourites and have recovered well – most recently thrashing Bradford PA 5-0 at the weekend. Darlo, meanwhile, are flying high after beating Alfreton 4-1 and will be hoping to make it four from four.
Southport are the final team hoping to preserve their perfect start tonight, as they host an FC United of Manchester side still hunting for their first point of the season.
TEAM OF THE DAY: The NLP’s select XI for the National League North/South… pic.twitter.com/ARCUhbO0Wx
— The Non-League Paper (@NonLeaguePaper) August 14, 2017
After a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Kidderminster on Saturday, FC United boss Karl Marginson refused to be to down, saying: “Today we were beaten by the better team, but we showed our capabilities. We will look to go again on Tuesday night.” They’ll have to be on it from the first minute.
Kiddy meanwhile were delighted to claim their first three points, with two-goal hero Emmanuel Sonupe firing his side to a precious away victory and telling The NLP: “Our season starts from this point. We’ve got points on the board and something to build on.” Paul Holleran’s Leamington are their opponents tonight.
With an early place in the play-offs at stake, Salford City take on Stockport County. Title favourites Salford had to grind out a win at Telford on Saturday to make it two wins in a row, but Stockport were forced to share the points against Harrogate in a thrilling draw – a result caused by “poor application” according to County boss Jim Gannon.
Simon Weaver’s side deserved their hard-earned point at Edgeley Park, with the boss telling The NLP he was especially pleased with their “outstanding” first-half performance, and they will hope to consolidate their place in the play-offs tonight when they take on Chorley.
Gainsborough Trinity and Blyth Spartans will also be hoping to build on impressive weekend results, after the pair both claimed their first wins of the National League North campaign.
In a tight match, Gainsborough secured a slender win at Nuneaton, while a Jarrett Rivers-inspired Blyth got the better of Tamworth in an exciting 4-2 win – who will claim the points tonight?
Just like FC United of Manchester, North Ferriby, who are bottom of the league. are desperately searching for their first points of the season. After that thrashing at home to Brackley, confidence will be low, but Steve Housham has said he is demanding a reaction from his side as they host an Alfreton team who have lost their last two.
Tonight’s fixture list in full:
Alfreton Town v North Ferriby United
Brackley Town v Nuneaton Town
Gainsborough Trinity v Blyth Spartans
Harrogate Town v Chorley
Kidderminster Harriers v Leamington
Salford City v Stockport County
Southport v FC United of Manchester
Spennymoor Town v Bradford Park Avenue
Tamworth v Boston Unuted
York City v Darlington
Tagged Armson, Blyth, Blyth Spartans, Brackley, Brackley Town, Darlington, Darlo, FC United, FC United of Manchester, Gainsborough, James Armson, Kidderminster, Kidderminster Harriers, Kiddy, Leamington, Minstermen, National League, National League North, NLP, North Ferriby, North Ferriby United, Salford, Salford City, Southport, Stockport, Stockport County, York, York City