Durham City’s French fancy gives Chandler boost

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THREE French players are included in Durham City’s squad for tomorrow’s Ebac Northern League First Division game at Crook Town.

Walid Abeid, brother of Newcastle United’s Mehdi, Moussa Bakhti and Baptiste Fixot all come into the plans of manager Ian Chandler following two disappointing performances and results.

“The three lads will probably figure at some stage. We didn’t play well either last Saturday or on Tuesday night and I am looking for a positive reaction at the Millfield ground where Crook are going through a bad spell,” said Chandler.

Ryan Noble and Nathan Lawrence are named in City’s squad, but Kyle Fryatt is an injury doubt, while Chris Wallace is serving a six-match ban picked up in Sunday football.

Following their victory last Saturday, Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales is looking for another three points at home to Penrith which could lift them out of the drop zone.

He said: “Penrith are in the bottom half and, although they are nine points better off than us, I see this game as a six-pointer.”

The Wearsiders have signed central midfielder James Rowe from Wolviston and Jack Stanger is also available, but Lewis Wood is away and Stephen Bogie is in the middle of a three-match suspension.

Billingham Synthonia are also in a relegation battle but could find it very difficult at home to North Shields, who are second-top after coasting to victory at Whitley Bay on Tuesday.

Once again, Synners are under strength, missing Tom Hinchley, Scott Matthewman, Dan Dillon and Mattie Osmond. A huge blow to the Robins is the news that star marksman Gareth Bainbridge will be missing for a number of weeks after limping off injured at Hillheads.

Although Stuart Donnison and John Grey come in, Joe Elliott is a definite non-starter and doubts surround the availability of Denver Morris and Kieran Wrightson.

West Auckland Town lead the table by nine points going into their fixture at West Allotment Celtic, who are now seventh from bottom.

Jarrow Roofing are up to fourth before hosting Dunston UTS who are just one place and a point behind them. Manager Richie McLoughlin brings in Danny Carson, Sean Vipond, Alan Greenan and Kieron Whitehead.

News on John Campbell is thatthe Roofing striker is now in his third week at Oxford United where he will remain until at least February.

“John has been on the first team bench and played for the reserves against Aston Villa earlier in the week. A decision on his future will be taken in February,” said McLoughlin.

Dunston expect Gareth Williams to have recovered from a hamstring injury and Dan Smith is recalled. He missed last week’s FA Carlsberg Vase tie because he has played for Hebburn Town in an earlier round.

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