Northern League: Durham City boss Hotchkiss thinking positively for Blyth test

Whitley Bay (blue and white) take on Seaham Red Star in Division One last weekend.
Whitley Bay (blue and white) take on Seaham Red Star in Division One last weekend.

Durham City manager Ollie Hotchkiss is in a positive frame of mind ahead of tomorrow’s Second Division trip to Blyth.

Hotchkiss said: “We beat Team North in the cup on Tuesday night, who are from the league above us, so we go to Blyth full of confidence and I believe we’ve got a good chance.

“There is no pressure, as we’re not expected to get anything, but I believe we can, if we play well.”

Sam Joyce, Kieran Harnett, Ross Simpson and Jeremy Allen are all unavailable for the foreseeable future and Steve Molloy is another two weeks away from fitness.

Hotchkiss added: “I am delighted about goalkeeper Dean Caris being signed back to the team. Nathan Armin is suspended, but apart from that, we should have a good, healthy squad and we are feeling really positive.”

Second-bottom Chester-le-Street face a tough home clash with high-flying Hebburn Town.

Chester manager Colin Wake said: “We have David Surrey away with work commitments, Andrew Clarkson is struggling with a groin injury and Aaron Reynolds is still out with a long-standing back injury. However, Kieran Megran returns to bolster the midfield.

“After a couple of encouraging recent performances, the focus will be on keeping clean sheets as we have given away too many soft goals.

“We have a young squad who are making mistakes and being punished in the harshest way possible, but we are a work in process and need to get some much-needed points on the board, sooner rather than later.”

Hebburn are raring to go after resting 10 players for the midweek League Cup win.

Boss Scott Oliver said: “Chester-le-Street will be a tough physical test. They have started the season poorly after being relegated from Division One, but they will be up for the game under the clever management team of Colin Wake and Barry Fleming.”

Easington Colliery welcome bottom club Alnwick Town and Liam Adamson returns, having played a few minutes at Brandon last week. Shaun Smith is back, having missed out due to work commitments, alongside Chris Freeman, but Jordan Hailes is still out injured.

Leaders Tow Law Town travel to Whickham and secretary Steve Moralee said: “Everybody is fit and available to play this weekend and raring to go. We have a full squad to choose from.”

Crook Town entertain Thornaby and should have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Matthew Stephenson returned last Friday, following a long lay-off with a wrist injury.

Willington are ready for the visit of West Allotment Celtic, with manager Anthony Lee saying: “Matty Moffat will be back from suspension. There will be no other changes and we expect to have a full-strength side. We’re up for the game and will be looking to come out of it with a win.”

Brandon United travel to Darlington RA, who have centre-forward Phil Caley returning. Mark Sims is available following suspension.

Billingham Town can leapfrog sixth-top Heaton Stannington by winning against the Newcastle side at Grounsell Park.