SILKSWORTH Rangers and Sunderland West End need points for a different reason when they meet in tomorrow’s Wearside League derby, writes MALCOLM PRATT.
Hosts Rangers are second bottom with just nine points from 22 games, with 64 goals conceded – more than anyone else.
In contrast, West End are looking to nudge into the top six, having taken 34 points from 19 matches.
“It promises to be a good game,” said Silksworth secretary David Steele. “Our defence has played well in recent weeks, but, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to convert the numerous scoring opportunities we’ve created.”
Although Gary Tyzack is sidelined, Rangers welcome back James Gilhespy, who has been out for a number of weeks. Michael Curtis and Eoin Shannon also come into contention.
West End are enjoying a good first season and joint manager David Bond is hopeful of maintaining the momentum.
He said: “We are just five points outside the top six and if we can move up a notch it would be a tremendous achievement.”
Although Jack Purvis returns, David Keithley is a definite absentee. Bond awaits news on the fitness of Jonathan Greener and Andrew Gartland.
Ashbrooke Belford House are fourth bottom ahead of their visit to Leam Rangers.
Belford manager Tommy Dobbing delays announcing his squad, while the Tynesiders are stronger with the inclusion of Anthony Brewers and Tony Renwick. Steven Robinson, though, serves a one-match ban.
Ryhope CW will aim to at least maintain a three-point lead at the top when they go to basement side Coxhoe Athletic.
Manager Martin Swales (pictured) will give fitness tests to Liam Dunn, Dean Arkley and James Dunn. Chris Trewick, who has missed recent games, is added to the squad.
Jarrow have Mark English back from a shoulder injury when they host severely depleted Darlington Cleveland Bridge in a top-six clash. Bridge have seven regulars unavailable.
Prudhoe Town miss Chris Winn at Kirkbymoorside, while Annfield Plain have Ashley Westgarth, Martin Lamb, Kai Hewitson and Stephen Kirkbride available for their trip to Wolviston.