PAUL BENNETT takes charge of Ryhope CW for the first time tomorrow in the Wearside League derby against Ashbrooke Belford House at Silksworth Welfare Park.
Last season, Bennett was manager of Hebburn Town in the Northern League and he started the current campaign as assistant to Richie McLoughlin at Jarrow Roofing.
Bennett was appointed as Ryhope’s boss following the departure of Gary Errington immediately following the Wearsiders’ resounding 5-1 victory over championship rivals Stockton Town last Saturday, taking them two points clear at the top.
Bennett could have a full-strength pool of players to choose from. His only injury concern concerns Ross Stead (pictured, inset), who will undergo a late test.
Ashbrooke’s joint manager, Asa Dobbing, reports that work commitments rule out David Christie and Johnny Dunn, while doubts surround the availability of club captain Mark Green and Ryan Veitch. The return of Shaun Petch is a boost for the hosts, though.
Seventh-top Silksworth CW visit Harton and Westoe CW. Because the last two games have been postponed, Neil Jones still has not served his one-match ban, while Willie Crew also misses out.
Dan Martin, John Bowes and Craig Lines have all regained fitness and are added to Mark McGinley’s squad.
Horden CW aim to nudge into the top half of the table by defeating Boldon CA away, but manager Keith Brown misses Jonny Payne and Ethan Payne. In addition, he awaits news on injured pair Haydn Pace and Ryan Brymer.
Hartlepool host Coxhoe Athletic in a clash of the bottom two. Coxhoe, two points better off, must do without Neil Charlton, Adam Strong and Chris Baxter.
But they are ready to include new signings Michael Graver, Robert Moncur and Ian Brabon. Carl Morris also comes into the frame, but the availability of Kyle Wren is uncertain.
The match of the day sees fourth-top Redcar Athletic tackling second-placed Stockton Town, who are desperate to avoid a third successive defeat. Goalkeeper Michael Arthur returns for Town.
Leam Rangers face a difficult challenge at third-top Cleator Moor Celtic especially as they cannot call upon Terry Cairns, Guillame Gaborit or Bodri Kawalanga.
Richmond Town are fifth going into their home fixture with Jarrow.
Easington Colliery were due to play Prudhoe Town, but the West Tyne side’s Northumberland FA Benevolent Bowl fixture with Shankhouse takes precedence.
Seaton Carew, away to Annfield Plain, are expected to hand a debut to England Under-18 Schoolboy captain Paul Braithwaite, who played in the Durham CCC Academy’s Under-17 title-winning team last season.
Plain’s only doubt surrounds goalkeeper Grant Scott, who is struggling with a knee injury.