A CLOSE result is expected when Silksworth CW have home advantage over Sunderland West End in tonight’s Wearside League derby.
The hosts are ninth, just five points behind their neighbours with two games in hand.
A blow for Silksworth is the news that strikers Craig Lines and Andrew Place are both sidelined.
Lines was forced off after only 10 minutes of Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury and Place is suffering with an achilles problem.
In addition, neither Dan nor Kieran Martin can play. Chairman David Steele explained: “We signed the pair from West End and made a gentleman’s agreement that they wouldn’t play in the first fixture between the teams.”
A boost for the Colliers is the return of John Bowes and Mark Robinson who figured in the successful Wearside League representative side at the weekend.
West End boss Andy Colledge has made three signings in recent days bringing in John Pyle from Horden CW, Gary Taylor (Jarrow) and David Paul, who has been signed on loan from Crook Town. Barry Turton also comes into his plans tonight.
Ryhope CW have the chance to return to the top of the table since leaders Stockton Town are without a fixture.
The Wearsiders expect to name a strong line-up when they host Richmond Town who name Guy Craggs since regular goalkeepers Adam Cunningham and Steven Walker are both unavailable.
Scott Ryan is another absentee but Liam Darville, Bradley Woods and Gary Sharda are named in the visitor’s squad.
Horden CW are pleased that Billy Maxwell has recovered from a foot injury but they miss two regulars at home to Jarrow.
Aaron Saiger could be out for up to three weeks with a foot injury while the news is not nearly so good for Simon Todd. He is expected to be sidelined until Christmas.
Top six side Jarrow’s only absentee is captain Kyle Pendergood who has work commitments.
Harton and Westoe, aiming to reach the top half of the table by defeating basement side Gateshead Leam Rangers, cannot call upon Mark Johnson (hip), Jon Armstrong (hamstring) or John Murray (work) and there is a doubt surrounding David Hopper who had to be substituted on Saturday.
Leam Rangersare minus defender Andy Hebron and striker Anthony Thompson but are pleased that long term injury victims Nikki Langston and Dale Bell came through unscathed when they returned at the weekend.
Hartlepool travel to Prudhoe Town with a much-changed line-up. Former Manchester United trainee Andrew Cowell has joined the club and goes straight into the squad which also includes Lewis Murphy, Callum Sweeney and Craig Risebury.
Definitely out are goalkeeper Rob Cleriheu, Luke Larkin and Connell Sweeting while James Paylor is pushing for a place in the starting line-up.
H Tomorrow night Silksworth CW host Bishop Auckland in a friendly which is part of the programme they are mounting to celebrate winning the Sunderland Shipowners’ Cup 60 years ago.
Chairman David Steele said: “We’ve invited clubs who also won silverware that season to play us in a series of games and Bishops readily agreed. The former Ryhope CW manager Martin Swales, who recently took over at Heritage Park, is bringing a strong squad.”
Admission is £2 but anyone purchasing a Silksworth Centenary 32-page programme for £4 will be given free admission.