STL Northern League
by Malcolm Pratt
CHAMPIONS Spennymoor Town are fired up for a final flourish to their second successive title.
Moors clinched the First Division in midweek, but assistant boss Perry Briggs says that the side – who host FA Vase finalists Whitley Bay tomorrow – have their sights set on 100 points.
He said: “It would be the icing on the cake. We need just one point from two games to top three figures and hopefully we can do it tomorrow”.
Moors welcome back Gavin Cogden but Adam Johnston and Anthony Peacock are definite absentees. They finish off at Bedlington Terriers on Monday, before taking on Newcastle Benfield in Thursday’s Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup final at Dunston UTS.
Whitley Bay are third top, just a point behind Consett with a game in hand.
“We no longer have to worry about winning the title and second place is now our aim,” said manager Ian Chandler.
“We’ve finished third in the last three seasons and it would be good to go one better this time, but our main goal now is to win the FA Carlsberg Vase for a third consecutive time.”
Consett moved into second place in midweek and, at home to Ashington, expect to field a strong line-up as they attempt to seal the runners-up spot.
A boost for the Steelmen is the news that manager Kenny Lindoe is back although he will not return to the helm until next season.
Lindoe recently collapsed in the gym and was rushed to University Hospital Durham before being transferred to the James Cook Hospital on Teesside where he had a triple bypass operation.
“It’s good to be out and about again and I’ve watched Consett’s last three games, but I’m not involved although I intend to be back in charge for the start of next season” said Lindoe.
Newcastle Benfield are also in with a chance of being runners-up but face a difficult task at in-form Dunston UTS.
“We’ve made massive strides on and off the field during the last year and I’m over the moon at our season,” enthused manager Billy Irwin, who reports that every player has re-signed for next season.
Relegated West Allotment Celtic sign off at Bishop Auckland and manager Paul Stoneman, who was only recently appointed, is already making plans for next season.
Stoneman said: “I had fewer than 10 games to save the club from the drop and although we moved out of the bottom two we just didn’t have enough to stay up.
“I’m definitely staying on and hopefully we can bounce back at the first attempt.”
Ryton, who are also relegated with Esh Winning, will be known as Ryton and Crawcrook Albion from the start of next season.
“Our ground is in Crawcrook, so it makes sense to change our name and permission has been granted by Durham FA,” said secretary Ken Rodger.