LOCAL rivals Sunderland West End and Silksworth CW should provide a closely-contested Wearside League derby clash at Ford Quarry tomorrow.
West End have won four of their eight games so far, while the Colliers’ record is even more impressive. Their nine matches have yielded seven victories.
West End manager Anth Nelson will give debuts to goalkeeper Neal Bussey, signed from Ryhope CW, and Tom Price (Seaham Red Star). Another boost is the return of Lloyd Conlon, who has recovered from a broken arm.
“We have a full-strength squad available and it should be a cracking match,” enthused Nelson.
Silksworth have made their best start in years and sit fourth, only three points behind leaders Stockton Town.
They have scored 11 goals in their last two games but have been rocked by the unavailability of leading marksman Liam Gill, who has scored 12 of his team’s 30 strikes this season.
Manager Scott Cameron, in charge for his first derby, included Andrew Place and Neil Jones but awaits news on injury victim Steven Bagshaw.
Stockton Town are firm favourites to extend a 100 per cent record at the expense of bottom club Harton and Westoe, who have taken just three points from a possible 24.
Stockton manager Michael Dunwell has no injury concerns, with Scott Meehan, Michael Lawson and Tony Johnson included in a full pool of players.
Easington Colliery are second going into their home fixture with Leam Rangers.
Manager Paul Graeme signed Michael Watson from Billingham Town and he is pushing for a start in central midfield. Jordan Thompson and Bryan Norton are also named, but Brett Gillatt, Marc Moon, Connor Walker, Karl Adams, Dale Spence, Ian Redman and Liam Beeston are all sidelined.
In addition, Scott Huntley will not be available in the foreseeable future since he has returned to university.
Leam missed eight players last week and are therefore delighted to have Leon Kane, Liam Jobson-Cook and Ian Spalding in their squad, but Craig Hall and Chris Lowther are definitely out. In addition, Gordon Hutchinson and Mick McHugh are injury concerns.
* Don’t miss tomorrow’s online Football Echo for the biggest coverage of local football – and a picture special on Silksworth’s victory over Wolviston last weekend. It’s on this website from around 6.45pm tomorrow