With pre-season out of the way Spartans open their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League campaign with a trip to Witton Albion. As Spartans start their attempt to bounce back to the Blue Square North at the first attempt this is the first game the club has played at Northern Premier League level since April 2006 when they beat Wakefield-Emley 3-0 in front of a crowd of 1, 250 at Croft Park. Albion are also new to the league having won promotion from the Evo-Stik First Division North through the play-offs beating Curzon Ashton in the final.
Tommy Cassidy added five players to his squad this week with former Newcastle United striker Phil Airey being joined by Jake Turnbull, Paul King, Scott Blandford and Ash Davies in signing on for the season at Croft Park and will look to make as instant impact for Spartans. Also looking to make league debuts for the club will be summer additions Conor Grant, Craig Farrell and Tom Berj whilst Cassidy will also hope to have Lee Mason and Carl Jones back from injury after the pair missed recent games in pre-season.
After a successful season last time out Witton Albion will be looking to prove themselves at a higher level and during the summer manager Brian Pritchard will be looking to carry on their impressive pre-season form that has seen them beat the likes of Vauxhall Motors and Newcastle Town.
Address: WITTON ALBION FC, Wincham Park, Chapel Street, Northwich, CW9 6DA
Weather Forecast: Cloudy with sunny intervals and strong chance of rain
Last time out:
Sat 11 August Pre-season Friendly: Newcastle United XI 3-2 Blyth Spartans(Davies, Mellish)
Sat 11 August Pre-season Friendly: Vauxhall Motors 1-3 Witton Albion(Stott 2, Hancock)
19 April 2006 NPL Premier Division: Witton Albion 1-1 Blyth Spartans(McCabe)
Match Odds: Witton Albion 13/8, Draw 13/5, Blyth Spartans 11/8
League Title Odds: Witton Albion 40/1, Blyth Spartans 12/1
Match Day: Spartans on this day
18th August 1952 North Eastern League: Anfield Plain(a) 0-4
18th August 1956 North Eastern League: Sunderland AFC Reserves(a) 4-4 Johnson(2), Langland(2)
18th August 1962 North Eastern League: Consett(h) 1-3 Hogg
18th August 1971 Northern League: Ashington(h) 2-0 Jardine(2)
18th August 1973 Friendly: Washington FC(h) 3-1 Pink(2), Dagless
18th August 1975 Northern League: Ashington(a) 1-0 Slane
18th August 1979 Northern League: Crook Town(a) 7-2 L Mutrie(4), Doig(2), Ross
18th August 1993 Northern League Div One: Consett(a) 4-0 Pyle(2), Hallam, Peattie
18th August 2001 NPL Premier Division: Bamber Bridge(h) 3-1 Keegan, Robson, Hutton
18th August 2007 Conference North: Hinckley United(a) 1-1 Dale