With all the doom and gloom engulfing Tyneside in the wake of the Yohan Cabaye sale and a catastrophic double derby defeat, it’s easy to forget that occasionally football can in fact be fun.

I for one feel that the 90 minutes (plus 15 at the break) only constitutes a tiny part of the match-day experience. When I finish work on a Friday night safe in the knowledge that I have a ticket in my pocket and a few cold ones in the fridge, I know I’m in for a 48 hour football feast filled with mates, laughter, beer, craic, anticipation, emotion, analysis and a hangover.

non-league football

Darren Peacock Heading North

Whilst (hopefully) celebrating throughout Sunday on a job well done by the lads and 3 points safely banked in the league table.

The Toon’s disappointing early exit from this season’s FA cup, and subsequent free weekend, provides the perfect opportunity to watch a bit of pressure-free football whilst enjoying a good day out with the lads and helping finance a local team.

The fixture Gods have decided that Toon old boy Darren Peacock will be bringing his Lancaster City outfit to the North-East in a match with Darlington on Feb 15th that could prove potentially crucial in the race for the final play off place.

At the time of writing (7th Feb) Lancaster currently sit 6th in the Evo-Stik league First division North, level on points with 5th place Bamber Bridge (who have a game in hand) and only 2 points ahead of Ramsbottom (who they host this weekend) in what has turned into a 3 way tussle for 5th place which gains entry to the play off lottery.

It would be great if a few disgruntled Toon fans would like to make a day of jumping on the train to Bishop Auckland (Darlington currently play at Heritage Park, a mile and a half from the train station) to either get behind a local team on the Toon’s day off, or come and back a Newcastle old boy in the visiting dug-out. A few beers on the train and taking in the match will always be preferable to a day trip to the metro centre for me!

If Darlington-Lancaster doesn’t tickle your fancy then how about taking in Gateshead-Woking as the Heed Army attempt to maintain their own push for promotion through the play-offs.

Maybe this Valentine’s weekend, a few heartbroken Toon fans will sample a bit of the romanticism of non-league football and be reminded of the real reasons why they first fell in love with the beautiful game.