Cestrians down to the bare bones in the STL Northern League

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IT’S just as well that Chester-le-Street are not fighting for points in tonight’s STL Northern League Second Division game against Gillford Park at Carlisle.

Last night, the Cestrians were desparately trying to assemble a squad. Several players cannot make the early start to Cumbria and in addition a number are injured.

“It is not ideal going over there in mid-week but we have to live with it. Manager Stuart Sherwood will get a team out okay but we are down to the bare bones,” said chairman Joe Burlison.

So too are Seaham Red Star ahead of their visit to Whickham, who now have a lot to do if they are to clinch one of the two remaining promotion places.

“They still have a chance so they’ll be going all out for a win. We are really struggling for a team.

“Gary Anderson, Liam Hodgson and Robbie Bird are injured and several lads are at work. It’s a real headache but we’ll soldier on,” declared manager Kevin Turns who is hoping to complete a signing before kick-off.

Birtley Town, the most improved side in the Second Division this season, are comfortably placed in mid-table ahead of the visit from Whitehaven. Manager Scott Oliver delays announcing his line-up until shortly before the start.

In Division One, Sunderland RCA will hope to put their recent indifferent form behind them when they take on relegation-threatened Esh Winning at Waterhouses.

The Wearsiders are just below the half-way mark but Esh are 17 points adrift of safety with just seven games to play. Defeat tonight would leave them with a near-impossible task.