MATCH PREVIEW: From grass to 3G

After the stunning start to the new season on Saturday, Reds now switch their attention to the first away game and a first ever NPL encounter v. Morpeth Town on Tuesday.

And after doing their stuff on the pristine Borough Park grass they will have to adapt to Morpeth’s 3G surface – the first of eight away matches this season on a synthetic surface. It will be a 4G surface at Ilkeston on Saturday.

Morpeth started the season with a commendable 2-2 draw at Basford United at the weekend, twice coming from behind to collect a point thanks to goals from Andrew Johnson and Chris Reid.

Their squad is packed with experience and includes Connor Thomson who spent a brief time with Reds back in 2014.

The Highwaymen have spent the last four seasons in the Premier Division after we moved in opposite directions at the end of the 2018-19 season. As we were going down after relegation from the top flight, Morpeth were stepping up to the Premier Division after finishing champions of Division One East.

Last season, they finished in 17th position, their lowest in the Premier Division.

Although it will be our first visit to Craik Park for a League game, we did play a pre-season match there back in 1997, sharing eight goals in a 4-4 draw. More recently, we were there for an FA youth Cup tie four years ago but the young Reds suffered a crushing defeat.

Two years ago, Town visited Borough Park with a makeshift squad for a pre-season game with Jim Atkinson, Dav Symington, Brad Hubbold and Conor Tinnion (2) all scoring in a one-sided 6-0 Workington victory.

Danny Grainger will tweak the squad – some enforced changes, others pre-planned – due to injuries and fatigue, for what will be one of the shorter trips for the Cumbrian based players but a bit of a marathon for the travellers.

Kick-off 7.45pm

Postcode: NE61 2YX

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