HOW times have changed for Silksworth CW.
Two years ago, they finished well adrift at the bottom of the Wearside League table, but a huge improvement last season saw the Wearsiders end eighth-top.
Ahead of tomorrow’s testing challenge at defending champions Stockton Town, the Colliers are in third place, equal on points with their illustrious hosts.
“We’ve played really well and defeating Whitehaven was a fantastic achievement. We go into tomorrow’s game with confidence high,” enthused secretary Peter Smith.
Robert Page, signed from local football, could be involved tomorrow and Dan Martin will be included on the team sheet providing he is fully recovered from his recent injury.
Stockton boast one of only two 100 per cent records as they aim to win a third consecutive championship.
Alan Cossavella is hoping to be fit after being concussed in a recent match, but James Ward is absent, playing cricket for Stockton.
Easington Colliery are the other side to have maximum points and they will be looking to make it six wins on the bounce at the expense of visitors Hartlepool.
Assistant manager Craig Parkinson reports that neither Adam Drysdale nor Ian Redman can play, but Nick Doyle, Bryan Norton and Lewis Lynch come into the plans of manager Paul Frame.
In addition, David Paul, Rhys Weir and Brett Gillatt, who were called upon from the bench in Wednesday’s victory at Harton and Westoe, are pushing for a place in the starting line-up.
Horden CW travel to Prudhoe Town missing Ethan Payne, Paul Moss, Chris Tarn, Ryan Brymer, Robert Taylor and Darren Atkinson, so it is fortunate that Michael Cockburn and John Bowes can play.
Ashbrooke Belford House are in Cumbria for their fixture with Cleator Moor Celtic and joint manager Asa Dobbing has ruled out injured pair Mark Green and Lee Andrews.
In addition, David Christie and Callum Hodgson are working, but new signing Ross Stead, together with Paul Grainger, Marc Egglestone, Martin Deacon and Jake Moan, could play a part at some stage.
Sunderland West End are sixth going into their match against Wolviston at Ford Quarry.
But West End have been handed a big blow with the absence of Barry Turton, who has scored in every game in which he has played this term.
Other absentees are captain Brad Foster and goalkeeper Lee Burrell. Jordan Cook will lead the team, while Scott Young takes over the goalkeeper’s jersey.
Wolviston have taken just one point from a possible 15 and their chances of causing an upset are diminished since neither captain Shaun Gregory nor midfielder Matty Watson can turn out.
Jarrow prop up the table with only one point from six games and, away to Richmond Town ,they have doubts surrounding the fitness of Peter Cane, Jason Pressling, David Graham and Darren Morton.
The hosts welcome back Scott Guy from injury, but the fitness of Roy Asimba is a cause for concern.
Boldon CA manager Jason Jones is boosted for the trip to Whitehaven with the availability of full-back Carl Evans and striker Mark Johnson.