Northern League: New shape and style benefiting Cestrians, says boss Wake

Ryhope CW (red/white) renew rivalry with  Darlingtion RA (blue) tomorrow, just weeks after meeting in the FA Vase

Ryhope CW (red/white) renew rivalry with Darlingtion RA (blue) tomorrow, just weeks after meeting in the FA Vase

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Chester-le-Street are enjoying a much better season and are only two points behind Division Two leaders Team Northumbria going into their home game with Esh Winning tomorrow.

Manager Colin Wake puts his team’s new-found success down to better player availability and a change in shape and style.

“The hard part is trying to keep everyone happy but it’s a nice problem to have and better than worrying about how many players are able to play,” observed Wake.

Easington Colliery missed the chance to go fourth when their mini run of success was ended in mid-week.

The Colliers are favourites though to claim all three points at Stokesley SC who have managed just one point from 11 games.

Assistant manager Craig Parkinson reports that David Laight, David Paul, Shane O’Brien and James Parkinson are named in a 19-man squad.

Ryhope CW host third-placed Darlington RA without injured pair Craig Hughes and Richard Hodgson but Jonny Ball, Leon Ryan and Stephen Oakley come into the plans of manager Gary Pearson.

South Shields manager Jon King claims it’s “fantastic” what’s happening at the club and reckons a massive debt of gratitude is owed to new owner Geoff Thompson. “There are big expectations which we’ve got to deliver,” he said.

“The club was in the wilderness while playing at Peterlee but now we are back at Mariners Park, the average gate is 377 – 244 higher than the next-best figure.”

Former Sunderland players Julio Arca, who was ineligible for the midweek Durham Challenge Cup tie, and Ryan Noble are expected to feature at Brandon United.