RYHOPE CW aim to take another step towards emulating last season’s magnificent achievement in winning the championship and the three domestic cup competitions when they line up against Sunderland West End in the semi-final of the Wearside League Cup tomorrow.
Martin Swales’ side closed the gap on leaders Redcar Athletic to just a couple of points with a comprehensive victory over third top Stockton Town on Wednesday night.
And having suffered just one defeat in 26 league fixtures, they go into tomorrow’s Wearside derby as favourites.
A blow for Swales though is the absence of influential midfielder Dean Arkley, who has been a major player throughout the season.
West End returned to winning form in midweek and although they will field a weakened side, joint manager Steve Patton is confident they will give their illustrious neighbours a good game. Goalkeeper Scott Young, Lloyd Conlon and Neil Maddison are all working.
Redcar Athletic, who are already through to the final of the Monkweamouth Charity Cup, have home advantage over Stockton Town in a top three clash.
The Seasiders are looking for revenge after suffering two defeats at the hands of Stockton this season.
Andy Bell again misses out and Redcar await news on the availability of leading scorer James Kesterton, Gregg Boughey, Sam Young, Jamie Lee and Richie Playforth before finalising their squad.
In the league, Coxhoe Athletic attempt to make it three wins on the bounce when they visit Ashbrooke Belford House.
Manager Craig Morley brings in Simon Ord and Neil Charlton while his opposite number, Tommy Dobbing cannot name David Scott or Stephen Dickinson.
Doubts surround Martin Deacon, Stuart Burton, Paul Robertson, Jack Lilley and Dale Wells. Kyle Anderson, signed from Hartlepool, is set to make his debut as Ashbrooke attempt to stretch a good run of form which has seen them lose just once in seven outings.
Silksworth Rangers are second from the basement and although five points clear of Coxhoe, they have played three games more than their rivals.
The Wearsiders travel to Cleator Moor Celtic unable to call upon John McLean so Adam Don will deputise in goal. Dillon Holden and John Turvey are included in a 14 man squad.
Peterlee Town have taken 10 points from their last five games and manager Paul Frame, who was appointed at Christmas, believes his new-look side is beginning to gel.
He is set to maker a number of changes at Willington with Ash Davis, signed from Jarrow Roofing, Phil Hickman, Paul Elliot, Anth Rogerson, John Pyle and Stephen Hockaday all coming into his plans.
Goalkeeper Mark Bell, who had to be substituted last week remains a doubt for Hartlepool and under 18 player Danny Sinclair is on standby to take over at home to Kirbymoorside