FA Vase: Easington snap up Jack Pounder to bolster options for Ashington crunch

Sunderland RCA midfielder Jonny Davis (red) battles in last weeks 0-0 draw with North Shields. The sides meet again in Division One of the Northern League tomorrow

Sunderland RCA midfielder Jonny Davis (red) battles in last weeks 0-0 draw with North Shields. The sides meet again in Division One of the Northern League tomorrow

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Easington Colliery have landed Sunderland RCA striker Jack Pounder and he goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s FA Vase second qualifying round tie at home to Ashington (3pm).

Pounder’s arrival is a timely one, given that Bryan Norton broke his ankle last week and is likely to be out for several months.

Easington secretary Billy Banks said: “There is a full squad available and we have Reece Kenny and Shaun Smith returning from holiday, and Jack Pounder is included in the squad.”

Peter Jones returns after injury, as does keeper Kyle Donaldson, who missed last week’s 2-1 Second Division win at Bedlington Terriers.

Ian Redman will return at centre-half having done a sterling job between the sticks last week. Aidan Goodey and Nathan Renton are rated 50/50 with injuries and face late fitness tests.

Shaun Smith is out because of work commitments, while Chris Freeman and Shane O’Brien are banned.

Ashington manager Steve Harmison has players returning to the squad from injury, but long-term injury victims Damien Stevens and Scott Blandford, along with James Taylor, are already ruled out.

Ryhope CW are away to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.

Elliott Woods, Lee Chapman, Chris Bell and Harvey Saunders are all out injured for Ryhope, while keeper Chris Rookes and Kyle Davis are away and Leon Ryan and manager Gary Pearson are suspended.

However, they do have Ryan Graham and Tom Bott returning to the squad.

Division One leaders South Shields travel to Second Division strugglers Esh Winning and should be much too strong for their hosts.

Louis Storey and Julio Arca are out with injuries for the Mariners, while there is a doubt over striker Jon Shaw.

Stockton Town go into their tie at Whitley Bay with 20 of the 22 players available.

Only team captain Stephen Roberts, who is away for the weekend, and injured goalkeeper Liam Jordan miss out.

Michael Arthur, usurped as first-choice keeper, returns in goal, while Alan Cossavella or Tony Johnson will replace Roberts.

Four-time FA Vase winners Whitley Bay are hoping fo another successful run in the competition. Manager Ian Chandler reports that defenders Nicky Allen (ankle) and Steve Gibson (knee) are both very doubtful.

However, striker Adam Shanks is available after missing the midweek game at Bishop Auckland through work commitments. Callum Anderson returns from holiday and Aiden Haley should be fit after recovering from a sore ankle.

West Auckland entertain Padiham, from the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Cliff Alderson, from the club, said: “We have parted company with our manager (Andy Campbell) and hopefully we will have appointed a new one by next week.

“We’re at the bottom of our league, but so are our opponents. Hopefully that will be to our advantage.”

Michael Laws and Dave Edwards should return, but Carl Jones is doubtful.

Heaton Stannington entertain Billingham Synthonia and the visitors have goalkeeper Jack McLaren ineligibles as kloan players can’t play in the Vase.

David Hillerby is suspended and Austin Johnston is out with a knee injury.

Chester-le-Street host Norton & Stockton Ancients, while Consett entertain Pickering Town and Jarrow Roofing head to Northallerton Town.

There is one tie tonight, with Bishop Auckland hosting Billingham Town.

Town manager Barry Oliver said: “My players are looking forward to going to Bishops and most importantly looking forward to testing ourselves.”

“Jack Turnbull, who we have on loan, is cup-tied and also another loan signing, Liam Moore, from Bishops, is not allowed to play. Other than that, we will hopefully be at full strength.”