After Crook Town rose from the second division of the Ebac Northern League in the summer, life in the first division begins with a trip to Thornaby.

Next season’s Northern League games were released yesterday, with the opening round of the games taking place on Saturday, July 31st.

The finals of the Northern League games in the 2021/22 season are scheduled for the weekend of April 16, 2022.

Shildon and Stockton Town, who moved up from the Northern League to the new Northern Premier League East as part of an FA reorganization of the non-league pyramid, will hear their schedule shortly.

The Northern League held its annual general meeting last week, and chairman Glenn Youngman said it was an “odd decision” by the FA to nullify the 2019-20 season and then give the results with the 2020-21 shortened season combine to decide which clubs would advance in the two seasons with a total of points per game.

He said, “In one season we played about 75% of the games, but the season that just ended we only played about 25%.

“I believe promotion and relegation should be decided on the field.”

The first Division One games of the next season are: Billingham Town – Newton Aycliffe, Consett – Seaham Red Star, Guisborough – Bishop Auckland, North Shields – West Allotment, Penrith – Ashington, Redcar Athletic – Northallerton, Sunderland RCA – Sunderland Ryhope CW , Thornaby versus Crook, West Auckland versus Newcastle Benfield, Whitley Bay versus Whickham.

* The full list of Northern League games for next season is available here – device list