SILKSWORTH CW chairman Phil Tye hailed the working bond which has developed with Northern League neighbours Ryhope CW.
“We are two colliery teams a mile apart and I want to praise them for the way we are working together,” he said.
“For instance, we transferred Liam Gill to them a few weeks ago and the verbal arrangement was that if it didn’t work out for him, they wouldn’t stand in his way if he wanted to return.
“They’ve been true to their word and Liam has decided to come back. In addition, we have Ross Stead on loan from them which is another example of our close relationship,” enthused Tye.
Manager Scott Cameron is delighted to have Gill back on board. He scored 23 goals before trying his luck in the second division of the Ebac Northern League.
“Liam is a natural goalscorer and wants to play for us again so let’s get on with it, starting against Leam Rangers tomorrow,” said Cameron.
Silksworth will name a strong line-up, but Leam miss Tony Mpwilu, Andy Hebron, Craig Hall and Michael McCaffrey who are all banned.
Working commitments sideline Chris Lowther and Leon Kane is an injury doubt.
Stockton Town are on cup duty, giving second placed Horden CW the chance to reduce an eight-point deficit. The Colliers are favourites at Seaton Carew, who have managed just one point from their last seven games.
Ethan Payne and Michael Cain have completed bans and top scorer Michael Pattison also returns for Horden who expect to have Martin Fowler, Andy Lonsdale and Paul Moss available.
Seaton are experiencing a torrid time following the loss of a number of players. Recently appointed manager Denis Brown cannot call upon Jordan Arkwright, Adam Marshall or the suspended Jordan Grayson.
Boldon CA manager Jason Jones is hoping that Adam Drysdale, signed from Easington, will add scoring power to his attack but neither Adam Smith nor Neil Crammon can play in the home game with Cleator Moor Celtic.
Hartlepool take a surprisingly strong squad to Whitehaven, their only absentee being Shannon Davis, who is working.
Annfield Plain aim to extend a three-match unbeaten sequence and move further away from near the bottom of the table when they go to Richmond Town where manager Keith Sheardown expected to have Jordan Fraser, Carl Malpass, Michael Bell and Karl Gent in his squad.
Easington Colliery will attempt to take a step towards retaining the Sunderland Shipowners Cup when they have home advantage over Ashbrooke Belford House in the semi-final.
Boss Paul Frame though cannot name Michael Turnbull, Nick Doyle, Jay Martin, Shane O’Brien or Chris Pearson.
Kevin Humble, who impressed and scored in his debut last weekend, will be looking for a place in the staring line-up
Ashbrooke have signed Corey Steele from Easington. He is set to make his first appearance against his former club. Joint manager Asa Dobbing reports that Lewis Hutchinson, Paul Grainger, Lee Harrison and Ian Potts also come into the frame and he’s looking to make two signings before kick-off.
In the other semi, leaders Stockton Town host Redcar Athletic and with Chris Stockton returning from a three match ban to a full squad, the home side are favourites.
Redcar could give a first outing to Alex Maposa and another signing is in the pipeline.
First-team player Craig Lynch is included in the Spennymoor Town reserve team as he builds up match fitness. Manager Carl Beasley also names academy players Chris Foster and Mitchell McKenna-Little for the Wearside League Cup first round tie with Prudhoe Town at Coxhoe. The visitors only absentee is the injured Ryan Chambers.
Bottom-of-the-table Wolviston travel to Jarrow with club skipper Shaun Gregory pencilled in to play his first game since early September. Jarrow include Kyle Pendergood, Gary Taylor and Daryl Turnbull.
* Join our live, interactive SAFC matchday blog tomorrow. The build-up to the Sunderland-West Ham game starts at 11am on sunderlandecho.com and we’ll keep a close eye on all the local football action and results