Parkinson confident Easington will gain promotion

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EASINGTON Colliery assistant manager Craig Parkinson reckons the side is as strong at it’s been all season and confident they can clinch promotion to the Ebac Northern League.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game at Leam Rangers, he said: “We have six cup finals left and our destination is in our own hands.

“But after racking up six clean sheets in the last seven games, we are in a good position and it’s now down to us.”

Gavin Nesbitt, Shaun Smith and Chris Pearson are ruled out, but Dale Spence and Kevin Humble return to an 18-man squad.

After defeating Jarrow in midweek, Easington have now scored 119 goals – the same number as leaders Stockton Town – and it will be a major surprise if they don’t add to the total against second bottom Leam.

The Tynesiders will be hoping to upset the form book and their chances are boosted with the inclusion of Lauren Sanson, Liam Davidson and Mark Hammond.

At one stage, Horden CW were challenging Stockton Town for the leadership and their sights were then reduced to the runners up position.

Following recent results however, they are down to fourth which is a more realistic target especially as they could find it extremely difficult against Stockton at Welfare Park.

Manager Keith Brown reports that Michael Cain, Robert Hammond, Andy Lonsdale, Martin Fowler and Johnny Payne all come into the reckoning but John Pyle and Stephen Hockaday are doubtful.

Although they still have eight games to play, Stockton need only seven points to clinch a third consecutive championship. Mananger Michael Dunwell will probably name the same side which clinched a 29th win of the season, at Richmond Town in midweek. Amazingly, the Teessiders have conceded only two points.

Sunderland West End moved to sixth top with their midweek victory and at Harton and Westoe, manager Anth Nelson will need to check on the fitness of Brad Foster and David Keighley before naming his line-up.

Harton have Jak Wells back in goal and Jack Burrell will line up in midfield.

Silksworth CW are mid table before the local derby with Ashbrooke Belford House. The Colliers were unlucky to lose by the only goal at Cleator Moor Celtic on Wednesday, but a blow to their chances tomorrow is the absence of captain Michael McVay, Adam Storey and leading scorer Liam Gill who is in a race against time to be fit for the Durham Trophy Final with Whickham SC at the Nissan Sports Complex on Friday, May 1.

Ashbrooke are one place below their neighbours and joint manager Asa Dobbing reports that Adam Frame and Lee Harrison have completed bans.

Gary Thompson is fully fit and Paul Grainger is available, but captain Mark Green is injured and vice captain Lewis Hutchinson suspended.

Boldon CA and Prudhoe Town lock horns on South Tyneside with the home side just two points and a place against the West Tyne outfit.

Skipper Shaun Carroll and Carl Evans are named by Boldon, but Barney Dobson, Paul Henderson and Neil Crammon are all banned.

Prudhoe Town go without the injured Ryan Chambers and suspended Reece Davies, but Shaun Sagar comes into contention.

Jarrow have injury concerns for Grant Pressling, Kris Allen and Daryl Turnbull at home to Wolviston, who will be looking to extend an unbeaten sequence to five games against a side they’ve already beaten twice.

Goalkeeper Ryan Hodgson and defender John Shepherd line up for the Teessiders who have fulback Andy McGirr suspended.

Spennymoor Town Reserves make the long journey to Cleator Moor Celtic with a strong squad including fit again Mitchell McKenna and Neil Charlton. Their only doubt is for David Atkinson.

Bottom of the table Annfield Plain have taken encouragement from recent performances, but could find the going tough at home to Hartlepool, who scored six times in midweek.

Pools’ chances are enhanced with the inclusion of strikers Lee Jones and Mattie Kelsey.