UNTIL recently, Wearside League side Sunderland West End would have been favourites in tomorrow’s derby against Silksworth Rangers, but all of a sudden their opponent’s form has improved and now a close result is expected.
“Silksworth have picked up and it’s going to be very difficult especially as we are forced to field a depleted line-up,” said West End manager Steve Patton, who reports that captain Dave Sanderson, leading scorer Stephen Bogie, Dave Keighley, Jamie Fryett and Andrew Gartland are all sidelined.
In contrast, Silksworth’s only absentee is Michael Renshaw although Michael Curtis is doubtful. A boost though is the return of James Heppinstall.
“We are reasonably confident at the moment and seem to have the right blend of experience and youth.
“Moving off the bottom was a big plus and we are all determined to continue our recent good form,” enthused secretary David Steele.
After scoring five goals in midweek, Peterlee Town are looking forward to their visit to Darlington Cleveland Bridge.
Boss Don Naylor thought his side played attractive, flowing football and with several players back, he’s optimistic of another positive result.
David Laight, Robert Huntley, Stephen Hockaday, Paul Moss and Russell Blenkinsop all come into his plans.
Darlington are fourth top and it’s a case of three in and three out. Richard Snowdon, Bradley Woods and John Clegg resume but Michael Thraves, Paul Pomford and Michael Richardson cannot play.
Willington were wooden spoonists in two of the last three seasons but they proudly lead the table ahead of the visit of Gateshead Leam Rangers to Hall Lane.
Wayne Dobinson and Graeme Lazenby could resume while the Tynesiders delay announcing their squad.
Hartlepool are without several players for their game at Cleator Moor Cetlic. Kyle McDermott, Andy Ross, Johnny Bolton and Ian Davies cannot make the long journey while Scott Hines and Danny Wilson are away.
Their absence could give opportunities to youth team players Dale Campion, Luke Naylor and Danny Butler.
Prudhoe Town could hand a debut to Liam Dixon but Scott Ormeston is banned for the match at Wolviston who will be missing no fewer than nine players.
Ryhope CW travel to Stockton Town in the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup. Recently, the sides shared the points and another keen contest is on the cards.
Manager Martin Swales welcomes the return of goalkeeper Neil Atkinson but Martin Metcalfe is definitely out.
Kenny Linton, who has been with the club for three years, is emigrating to Australia.
Stockton will give fitness tests to Gavin Simcox but anticipate being able to field their first choice line-up.
Jarrow have home advantage of Boldon CA in the South Tyneside derby.
Manager Peter Kirkham cannot call upon Daryl Donnolly or Nick Pain while Boldon have Jak Wells and Shaun Carroll included in a strong squad.
Bottom of the table Coxhoe Athletic meet Annfield Plain at Derwent Park in the Sunderland Shipowners’ Cup.
Trevor Tierney, Craig Ferguson, Shaun Elliott, James Rice, Michael Johnson and Dan Shannon are all ruled out but Christian Schofield, Leigh Guthery, Dan Hatton and Alex Cantwell are in contention for Coxhoe.
The Plain have Michael Fraser and Stephen Kirkbride back in a strong pool of players from which manager David Turner will make his final selection.