West End ready to tackle title-chasers

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SUNDERLAND West End, hoping to finish in the top six of the Wearside League, face a difficult test tonight when they take on leaders Willington at Hall Lane.

The home side, assured of promotion to the Ebac Northern League, are fighting to hang on to pole position and will go flat out for all three points.

Although Chris Curtis and Lloyd Conlon return, a blow to West End’s chances is the news that neither captain Andrew Gartland nor Callum Hodgson are available.

It’s a case of one in and one out for Willington. Jason White returns from suspension but Shaun Brown is banned.

Easington Colliery dropped into the bottom three with Monday’s defeat and at second-from-basement Annfield Plain and they miss the injured Alex Kempster. Fortunately, defenders Craig Garthwiate and Jonny Bowes can play.

It’s a two-horse race for the Championship and Willington will anxiously await the result from the game between their only rivals, Stockton Town, who have home advantage over third placed Richmond Town.

Gateshead Leam Rangers travel to Redcar Athletic minus Chris Lowther, Mark Rumbles, Anthony Thompson and goalkeeper Malcolm Hutchinson.

Redcar, whose recent run of good form was abruptly halted by lowly Coxhoe Athletic on Monday, are still hopeful of a top six finish.

They expect to add Billy Millington, Adam Preston and Richie Playforth to their squad.

Ashbrooke Belford House are another side aiming to end in the top six.

They are without Mark Green, Martin Deadon and David Scott but Kenny Taylor is available for the fixture against Prudhoe Town at Silksworth.

Seaton Carew have several players ruled out for the visit of Kirkbymoorside, another team with serious selection problems.

Chris Hodgson, Jonny Brown, Mattie Bower and Paul Hodgson are injured but Connor Campbell and Tim Sharples could be involved.

Wolviston await news of the availability of Daryl Tomlinson, Craig Ferguson and Ian Danby while visitors Coxhoe Athletic welcome back Simon Ord and Chris Baxter.

Neil Charlton is definitely sidelined and a doubt surrounds Callum Walton. Anth Lowerson, meanwhile, is in line to play his 50 game of the season.

Jarrow have Kyle Pendergood injured but hopefully Andrew Wilkinson and Peter Kirkham will make the line up against Darlington Cleveland Bridge who name Marc Briggs but Martyn Stubbings and Will Kelly are definitely absentees.