RYHOPE CW return to Wearside League action with tonight’s visit to Boldon CA, writes MALCOLM PRATT.
The Wearsiders, with Martin Swales still in charge, were without a fixture on opening day as they start back on familiar territory after being demoted out of the Northern League.
Ryhope, outstanding quadruple winners in the Wearside League in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and runners-up in the Northern League’s Second Division last term, are hot favourites for the title.
“We were all disappointed at being relegated from the Northern League, but the majority of last season’s squad have re-signed,” said recently appointed secretary George McKitterick, who stood down from a similar role with the Wearside League in the summer.
“There is a very good and positive atmosphere and we aim to return to the Northern League as soon as possible, hopefully at the end of this season.”
Boldon CA were surprisingly crushed in their first match at Redcar Athletic, but they expected to be much stronger tonight and are confident of having a new goalkeeper in place.
Assistant manager Steve Halliday had to step in at the last minute on Saturday. Six players have returned from holiday and are added to the squad.
Ashbrooke Belford House, with Asa Dobbing taking over from his father Tommy as joint manager, alongside Paul Robertson, are optimistic of a successful season.
Dobbing said: “We re-signed the majority of last season’s squad and have added Shaun Petch and Dean Arkley, both signed from Ryhope CW, to a strong pool.
“We lost Luke Olabode to Consett and goalkeeper Brett Wilson joined Harton and Westoe, but Paul and I believe we are strong enough to do well.”
Belford are at Jarrow tonight minus Kenny Taylor, Mark Egglestone and Steven Bogie, but Alan Young and Jake Moan return.
Jarrow miss Peter Kane, Brian Johnson, Ross Toward, Dean Black and Liam Bayles and a doubt surrounds David Conroy, but Ryan Burton is available.
New Sunderland West End manager Andy Colledge has Paul Milner and Mark Langley pencilled in for the debuts at Seaton Carew. Ross Kennedy is also available, but Lee Smith is a definite absentee.
Horden CW, fresh from an opening 5-0 win, will almost certainly field an unchanged side at Leam Rangers, who have midfielders Gordon Hutchinson and Nicky Langston back.
However, strikers Leon Kane and Anthony Thompson, who missed the opening game, are again very doubtful.
Coxhoe Athletic have a long trip to Cleator Moor and assistant manager Paul Charlton reports that captain Stephen Parnaby, Jonathon Hornsby, Michael Hillary, Mark Watson, Brad Cane, Chris Baxter, Neil Charlton, Kyle Scott, Michael Graham, Robert Tones, James Laidler and Ben Haddock are all unable to make the journey.
Tang Van Ngujen is doubtful, but Charlton hopes that Kyle Wren, Stephen Clough and Callum Walton will be able to play.
“The situation is so bad that we’ll be trying to recruit players before we set out. It may be I’ll have to turn out myself,” bemoaned Charlton.
Easington Colliery host Redcar Athletic.