Two tough games ahead for Whitley Bay

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Whitley Bay have two difficult games coming up against sides in the top six of the Northern League table.

On Saturday, they travel to FA Vase finalists West Auckland before welcoming Celtic Nation to Hillheads on Tuesday evening.

Whitley return to West Auckland just a month after an excellent 1-0 victory at Darlington Road in the League Cup third round.

That was a rare defeat for the south west Durham side, but as Whitley are well aware, a successful FA Vase run usually leads to a severe backlog of league fixtures and that is just what faces West Auckland in the coming month.

Saturday’s game will be their fourth of the week, and even their large and strong squad will be severely tested.

But whatever 11 they turn out, they will provide a stern test for Leon Ryan’s side.

Tuesday evening’s game, which has a 7.45pm kick-off, sees Whitley face a team that defeated them 3-0 in Carlisle back in September.

And as one of the sides aiming for promotion, Celtic Nation know that they must win all of their remaining games if they are to stand a chance of finishing above championship favourites Spennymoor.

The Cumbrians have been big spenders this season and include several players with a background in the Football League, so this game looks like being a great test for Whitley’s resurgent side and should attract big crowd to Hillheads.