WITTON Albion face a challenging introduction to a new season when they travel to South Shields on the Northern Premier League’s opening weekend next month.

Carl Macauley’s men head to the north east to take on a side promoted at the end of last season as Division One North champions after amassing more than 100 points.

The Mariners also won an FA Cup encounter between the two teams last term.

After a testing opener, Albion’s schedule does not get any easier as they host Hyde United before making another long trip to Whitby Town.

They complete August with a home date against neighbours Nantwich Town.

September starts at another newcomer to the top-flight in the form of Bamber Bridge before Marine, from whom Witton have recruited Billy Smart this summer, visit Wincham Park.

Gainsborough, relegated from National League North, make the same journey shortly afterwards.

October brings with it two more lengthy road trips; first, to Scarborough on a Tuesday night before a trek to Workington 11 days later.

Basford, a familiar foe from a successful season in Division One South the campaign before last, also host the Northwich club before the month is out.

Witton will host Warrington Town again on Boxing Day, with the return scheduled for Easter Monday.

A second meeting with Nantwich is fixed for New Year’s Day, while with less games to fit in - the Premier Division has been reduced to 22 teams for the 2018-2019 season – there is one less game to fit in during the Christmas holiday.

The calendar concludes with a visit from Hednesford Town, who have been moved sideways back into the Northern Premier League after initially being allocated a place in the newly-formed Southern Premier Central Division.

Meanwhile an appeal by the Pitmen against a decision by the FA’s Leagues Committee was rejected last week.

Here is Witton’s Premier Division fixture list in full:


18 South Shields (a)

21 Hyde United (h)

25 Whitby Town (a)

27 Nantwich Town (h)


01 Bamber Bridge (a)

04 Marine (h)

11 Stafford Rangers (a)

15 Gainsborough Trinity (h)

25 Farsley Celtic (h)

29 North Ferriby United (a)


02 Scarborough Athletic (a)

06 Stalybridge Celtic (h)

09 Mickleover Sports (h)

13 Workington (a)

15 Basford United (a)

20 Grantham Town (h)


03 Lancaster City (h)

17 Buxton (a)

24 Stafford Rangers (h)


01 Gainsborough Trinity (a)

08 Bamber Bridge (h)

15 Marine (a)

22 Hednesford Town (a)

26 Warrington Town (h)


01 Nantwich Town (a)

05 South Shields (h)

12 Matlock Town (h)

19 Hyde United (a)

26 Lancaster City (a)


02 Buxton (h)

09 Stalybridge Celtic (a)

16 North Ferriby United (h)

23 Farsley Celtic (a)


02 Scarborough Athletic (h)

16 Mickleover Sports (a)

23 Basford United (h)

30 Grantham Town (a)


06 Workington (h)

13 Matlock Town (a)

20 Whitby Town (h)

22 Warrington Town (a)

27 Hednesford Town (h)