Ryhope on the up

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RYHOPE CW will play their first ever home game in the Ebac Northern League when they line up against North Shields at Recreation Park tomorrow.

And the Wearsiders are hoping for a big turnout following two big wins.

An opening day seven-goal rout of Stokesley SC was followed by an equally impressive success at Whickham where Martin Swales’ side went nap.

The victory at The Glebe might come at a cost, however, with Greg Swansbury, Grant Bulmer and Nathan O’Neill all picking up knocks.

A boost for the Colliers, though, is the return of goalkeeper Chris Rookes, Richard Jordan and Nathan Johnson.

North Shields have a proud history and included among their most notable achievement was victory in the 1969 FA Amateur Cup final.

More recently, however, they have failed to achieve those dizzy heights and, after losing in the FA Cup, have claimed just one point from two league fixtures.

The Robins await news on injuries to Ian Holmes, Keith Douglas and Andy Hay.

Washington host Stokesley SC at the Nissan Sports Complex and manager Richie Latimer reports that Mark Patterson and Chris Tate are definite absentees. In addition, he will need to check on the fitness of Alan Oliver and Nicky Evans before deciding on his line-up.

“I’m very happy with the start we have made, having taken four points out of six. Stokesley have endured a torrid time in their opening games and hopefully we can chalk up another win,” said Latimer.

Chester-le-Street, out of the FA Cup, have drawn both encounters but are hopeful of claiming all three points when pointless Ryton and Crawcrook Albion visit Chester Moor Park.

Seaham Red Star go to Thornaby unable to call upon Shaun Newbrooke so Paul McSween will deputise in goal. Other absentees include Kevin Gordon and Alan Pegram.

In Division One, Sunderland RCA line up with Penrith at Meadow Park. Boss Neil Hixon is pleased with his team’s start apart from a blip which resulted in their exit from the FA Cup.

“That was our only defeat in four games and hopefully we can pick up our second win tomorrow,” said Hixon, who welcomes the availability of former Whitby Town striker Andy Appleby and James Oates.

Ross Preston and Ashley Gilhespy though are unavailable.

Newly-promoted Team Northumbria were encouraged by their winning performance against Dunston UTS earlier in the week and at home to Newton Aycliffe manager Paul Johnson reports that John Jury, Ben Sayer, Chris Dodds and the former Durham City captain Ross Wilkinson are all in his plans.

Synthonia’s David Abel has completed a ban and lines up at home to Newcastle Benfield but it will be some time before Andrew Burton recovers from a badly broken wrist.

Benfield have lost both their opening two games but their chances are improved with the inclusion of goalkeeper Andrew Grainger and Mark Turnbull.

It’s FA Cup day and Birtley Town reckons the visit form West Auckland Town is the biggest game in the club’s history.

“They were runners up to Champions Spennymoor Town last season and beaten FA Carlsberg Vase finalists so we are very much the underdogs,” said manager Scott Oliver, who is hoping that James Allsopp and Ben Johnson will be able to play, especially as Scott Garrett and Dan Hepplewhite are ruled out.

“For us to have any chance we need to play to our ultimate potential. Every player will need to achieve a 10 out of 10 rating. If we can be still be in the tie after an hour, I’ll be pleased. What I don’t want is for it to be all over inside the first 20 minutes.”

There is added spice for West Auckland’s assistant manager Paul Forster, who lives in Birtley. He said: “There should be a decent crowd and a good atmosphere. We’ve made an excellent start and I see no reason why we cannot go into the hat for the next round.” West’s only absentee is Stuart Banks, who completed a three-match ban.

Jarrow Roofing hope to make home advantage count against Farsley but a blow is the absence of Ian Dixon and Anthony Myers.

South Shields travel to Harrogate RA with Johnny Weightman playing cricket. Manager John King has injury concerns for Shaun Sweeny and Stephen Ramsey but Tony Coe is back from suspension.