Northern League: Latimer appointment lifts Washington ahead of Chester-le-Street six-pointer

Ryhope CW (red) take on Marske United in the Northern League last weekend. Picture by Tim Richardson

Ryhope CW (red) take on Marske United in the Northern League last weekend. Picture by Tim Richardson

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Chester-le-Street host Washington in a crucial bottom-four First Division clash at Chester Moor Park tomorrow.

The Mechanics have lost five in a row in the league but have been given a boost by the capture of Richie Latimer as manager, replacingf Neil Hixon, who left a week ago.

The Cestrians are currently bottom, but are just five points behind the visitors, with three games in hand and are looking to make a couple of signings before the weekend.

Boss Colin Wake misses Mark Peck, Alex White and Dan Bedding, but Chester do have Craig Marron, Lee Mole and Calum Johnston back in the squad.

Managerless Washington have lost five in a row in the league.

Ryhope CW, whose three-match winning run ended with a 4-1 defeat to Bishop Auckland on Tuesday, travel to Boldon to take on Jarrow Roofing, who are just below them in the table.

Defender Matty Stevenson and goalkeeper Chris Rookes miss out for Gary Pearson’s side, but captain Leon Ryan and midfielders Simon Ord and Adam Sakr return as Ryhope look to avenge August’s 4-1 home loss to Roofing.

Roofing will have a near full-strength squad to choose from, with only the suspended Darryll Donnelly missing out.

Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin said: “Of course, we will be going out to secure the win because it’s a good habit to get into, but we will be taking nothing for granted.

“Even though they lost last time out, Ryhope have been flying recently. In fact, if you look at the form guide, they’ve actually been doing better than us, so we will have our work cut out if we want to claim the points.

“The priority for us is to keep building on the progress we’ve been making every week. We are starting to get things right and we now come into each match full of confidence. However, I don’t think this match is must-win for us.”

Seaham Red Star boss Chris McCabe, with just one win in the last nine in the league, is looking for positives in the trip to third-bottom West Allotment Celtic.

McCabe said: “We have to pick some points up in this weekend’s game.

“We’re in a bit of a rut at the minute, and our aim is to go there and get a minimum of one point, out of the game.”

David Scorer is out suspended, while Robbie Bird serves the last game of a three-match ban. Ryan Burton is close to a return from injury, but tomorrow comes too soon for him.

West Auckland entertain Ashington, who have Wayne Buchanan, Shaun Bell and Kyle Downey all returning to the squad.

Craig Scott, Luke Salmon, Ben Richardson, Scott Blandford, James Taylor and long-term injury victim Damien Stevens are all out.

Whitley Bay have an intriguing derby at on-song Newcastle Benfield, while Bishop Auckland, on a five-match winning streak, head to Marske United, who have lost three in a row.