The 2018/19 season starts here and now!

By Paul Hatt

The EVO-STIK NPL’s fans, players and officials are running the rule over their fixtures for the upcoming season following their official release this morning.

All 62 clubs in the EVO-STIK NPL's three divisions received the fixtures for the 2018/19 campaign under strict embargo on Wednesday night before their publication on the fixture pages of the league's official website at 10am today.

In the EVO-STIK NPL's Premier Division, new boys Gainsborough Trinity and North Ferriby United, relegated last term from National League North, open with away fixtures against Nantwich Town and Marine respectively on Saturday 18 August.

Last season’s NPL North Division Champions, South Shields, host Witton Albion, whilst the South title winners, Basford United are away to another promoted team, Hyde United. The North Division runners-up, Scarborough Athletic and Play-off winners, Bamber Bridge, both begin life in the top flight on the road with the Seadogs travelling to Hednesford United and Brig at Grantham Town.

Whereas last season below the Premier were the North and South Division’s, following a vote by the clubs, the split has changed to East/West, meaning a very different look to the fixtures as clubs find themselves up against new opponents in 2018/19.

In the EVO-STIK East, the newly formed Ossett United open their historic first season with an away game at Loughborough Dynamo, whilst there is a clash of the new-boys as promoted NCEL Premier Division teams, AFC Mansfield and Pickering Town meet. The other side promoted from the NCEL, Pontefract Collieries, begin with a home game, where Lincoln United are the visitors. Also in the East Division last season’s Northern League Champions Marske United welcome the World's Oldest Football Club, Sheffield FC, whilst runners-up, Morpeth Town take to the road and are the visitors for Belper Town. Finally, in the East, United Counties League Premier Division runners-up, Wisbech Town make their bow in the NPL with a home game against Frickley Athletic.

Coming into the West Division from outside the NPL ranks are NWCL Premier Division title winner’s Runcorn Linnets, who make the trip to Droylsden on the opening day of the new campaign, whilst Widnes who finished as runners-up in the NWCL Premier Division, have a home fixture against Radcliffe FC, who have dropped the ‘Borough’ suffix after approval by The FA.

All the action starts on Saturday 18 August 2018, with the final Saturday of the regular league season coming on 27 April 2019. To see all of next season's fixtures in date order visit the fixture pages under the Match Info tab on the home page.

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