ONLY one side has played fewer games than Ryhope CW, who face a hectic end to the season in the Wearside League.
Because of bad weather in Cumbria, Cleator Moor Celtic have fulfilled just 21 fixtures – one fewer than Ryhope, who have 14 to play in the next few weeks.
Last Saturday, they were given a free day and to compound matters the midweek match was called off because of a floodlight failure.
Tomorrow, Martin Swales takes his side to Darlington Cleveland Bridge aiming to close an eight points gap on leaders Redcar Athletic.
The Weasiders definitely miss the suspended Mark Catheside and Swales will need to assess the fitness of Greg Swansbury, Phil Hall and Chris Trewick before finalising his squad.
A major blow for Darlington is the absence of a quartet of players with Michael Carter, Nev Fuller, Gary Buckley and Steven Wake all ruled out. Fortunately, Anth McLachan and Tom Watson can play.
Redcar Athletic, who have played four games more than Ryhope, are at home to Hartlepool boosted by the return from suspension of Lance Skelton.
Pools are pleased that youngster Matty Thomas is easing his way back after undergoing surgery on a knee in the early weeks of the season.
Kris Summers, though, will be sidelined for at least another month and Andy Ross has left the club.
It is virtually a two horse race for the Championship but Stockton Town haven’t given up hope.
The Teessiders are at Gateshead Leam Rangers who will clearly miss leading scorer Liam Barnett. He is out with a groin strain.
Silksworth Rangers hope to build on last week’s success, which was only their fourth of the season, when they host Peterlee Town.
A boost is the news that club captain Gary Tyzack, who resumed last week following an operation, showed no after effects and is again named.
Leon Symonds, John Turvey and David Robinson also come into contention.
No fewer than five former Silksworth players are now with Peterlee including ex-captains Paul Carr and Chris Crumbie.
Newtowners’ boss Paul Frame also has Stephen Hubery, Peter Crawford, Ian Redman and Brett Gillatt included in his plans.
Sunderland West End’s 11 match winning sequence came to an end on Wednesday night.
They start favourites to regain winning form at the expense of bottom of the table Coxhoe Athletic.
Lloyd Conlon is free from suspension while Coxhoe manager Craig Morley has a full squad which include Mark Watson and John Cook.
Boldon CA and Wolviston will fight it out for a place in the final of the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup.
The South Tynesiders have Jack Wells and Daniel Carson on board and are confident that captain Michael Meek will successfully come through a fitness test on his hamstring injury.
A disappointment for Wolviston is the suspension of Stephen Kilpatrick but Ian Danby and Carl Kennedy should make the line-up.
Ashbrooke Belford House will make a second attempt to play their second round tie at Cleator Moor Celtic which was postponed last Saturday because of a waterlogged pitch.
H Northern League – page 80