Pair will kick-off season at home

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ASHINGTON CFC have been handed home games on the opening three Saturdays on the 2012-13 Northern League season while they will be away for the first three midweek fixtures.

Bedlington Terriers are also at home on the opening weekend, but then face three of the next four on their travels.

Billingham Sythonia are the visitors to Ashington’s Woodhorn Lane on Saturday, August 18, while just along the road at Welfare Park, Terriers will welcome Durham City.

Ashington follow their opener with a trip to Whitley Bay on Tuesday, August 21, with a home game against Durham City four days later.

Bedlington follow up their opener with trips to Billingham Synthonia on Wednesday, August 22, and then Billingham Town on the following Saturday.

The two local rivals will then go head to head on the Bank Holiday Monday, August 27, at Welfare Park.

Colliers boss Gary Middleton said the new season would be as difficult as ever.

“It is a tough start,” he said.

“Darlington FC 1883 and Durham City have come into the league from the Conference and the Evo Stik leagues respectively along with newly promoted Team Northumbria, Celtic Nation FC (formerly Gillford Park) and Hebburn Town and in any block of fixtures there are no easy games.

“The league has always been tough – but this next season it is going to be tougher still.”

Ashington are scheduled to end the league campaign at home to North and Stockton Ancients on Saturday, April 27.

Bedlington’s season will be wrapped up on the same date in Cumbria at Celtic Nation FC.

The league has new sponsors and is now known as the Ebac Northern League.

A five-year sponsorship deal worth £200,000 has been agreed with County Durham-based dehumidifier manufacturer Ebac Ltd.