Crunch clash for Easington Colliers’ title bid

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Wearside League

EASINGTON Colliery can extend their lead at the top back to six points with victory against Ashbrooke Belford House at Silksworth tomorrow, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

Nine-goal midweek winners Ryhope CW are just three points behind – with a superior goal difference and a game in hand – but they have a free day because a league representative side is playing the Manchester League in the FA Inter-League Cup and there is a reduced programme of just six league games.

Easington’s Joe Atherton is available and will compete for the goalkeeping position with Niki Lawson against Belford.

In addition, manager Andy Colledge can call upon full-back Phil Hall, midfielder Chris Tarn and striker Anthony Ross, but striker David Doughty is a definite non-starter.

Belford crashed to a five-goal defeat in midweek and manager Tommy Dobbing is pleased to have David Christie fit following a long lay-off. Mark Green and Stephen Dickinson return to the squad, but Martin Deacon cannot play and Ryan Steel is very doubtful.

Houghton Town, crushed by Ryhope in midweek, are ravaged by injuries and suspensions ahead of their trip to Stockton Town.

Joint manager Anthony Cooper has several players are absent, but Tom Mitchell and Ross Kennedy come into contention.

Silksworth travel to third-top Kirkbymoorside and, after giving Easington Colliery a good game on Wednesday despite losing, manager Steven Smith hopes for a repeat performance.

The Yorkshiremen have the influential Sarjo Cham back.

Coxhoe Athletic, who slipped to the bottom on Wednesday, host Windscale. Philip Bulmer, David Curry and Paul Cantwell are sidelined and Christian Schofield is doubtful, but Owen Smith returns.

Prudhoe Town go to Wolviston.