Northern League: South Shields demand no complacency in visit to Ryhope CW

Easington Colliery (green) battle against Alnwick Town. Picture by Kevin Brady
Easington Colliery (green) battle against Alnwick Town. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Ryhope CW anticipate a large crowd for tomorrow’s attractive First Division game at home to South Shields.

The Mariners have won their last 25 games and are through to three cup finals as well as still holding out hope of the title.

Ryhope, beaten by Chester-le-Street last time out, have their first Saturday game in three weeks, and are sure to attract their biggest crowd of the season.

Shields rotated their squad for the midweek League Cup semi-final success at Shildon, but managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton have a full squad to select from.

Fenton said of Ryhope: “They’ve had some decent results recently and some disappointing ones as well.

“We keep saying that there must be no complacency going into any game.

“We’re approaching this game exactly the same as any other.”

Shields welcome back ex-Washington left-back Anthony Callaghan after he was cup-tied for the last three games.

With 10 league games to play, Shields must now concentrate on securing the points required to gain the top three position required to gain promotion, subject to passing the FA ground grading inspection.

Easington Colliery chase a Division Two double at home to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion tomorrow, having cruised to a 6-1 away win back in September.

Aidan Goodey, recovering from a hamstring injury, is likely to miss out, while Luke Page is suspended and Shane O’Brien remains sidelined with a long-term shoulder injury.

However, a full quota of strikers should bolster the team.

Second-bottom Ryton have Eddie Keenan and Harry Mitchell banned as they look to make it four games unbeaten.

Brandon United miss the banned Reece Marshall for the visit of Hebburn Town.

Secretary Barry Ross said: “Another couple of wins and we should be safe from relegation.”

Hebburn manager Scott Oliver has Glen Hargrave (suspension) and Adam Rundle (work) absent, while Chris Feasey is an injury doubt.

Oliver said: “We are looking to finish as high as possible to get into the FA Cup next season.

“We need to finish in the top eight, so we are looking at winning the next four out of five games. We missed out this year so would be nice to get in next year.”

Bottom club Esh Winning welcome promotion-chasing Billingham Synthonia, who miss suspended pair Austin Johnston and Conor Winter.

Macaulay Langstaff returns after missing the last two games with a virus.

Second-top Stockton Town, who entertain Bedlington Terriers, must do without Adam Nicholson, who pulled a muscle in last Friday’s win at Thornaby. Kevin Hayes faces a fitness test.

Bedlington manager Paddy Atkinson said: “David Stewart will be out due to a groin injury. There will be a few missing through work commitments, and Peter Henderson is away.

“Stockton are a very good team, so we have got to go there and give it a go. We are capable of beating teams on the day, but it is just trying to put the right team out.”

Faltering Billingham Town, whose promotion hopes look bleak after the midweek loss to Heaton Stannington, host Durham City, who have conceded 10 goals in their last two games.

Town are fourth, nine points behind Synthonia with just one game in hand.

Tow Law Town hope it will be third time lucky at home to Thornaby, following two previous postponements.

Lawyers secretary Steve Moralee said: “We will have a full squad but we are watching the weather closely. We have our three last home games coming up, so we’re hoping to end the season on a high.”

Lowly Willington, lifted by a midweek draw at Bedlington, have a tough task at home to Blyth Town.

Secretary Geoff Siddle said: “We are pretty much at full strength for the game. Our only doubt is Jason White, who has a niggling knee injury.

“We’re expecting a tough game, but hopefully, with another good performance, we will get another point.”

Blyth miss hamstring victim Mathew Crooks, but Josh Miller and Anthony Moran should return.

Crook Town have a full squad available at home to in-form Heaton Stannington, who could still feature in the promotion race.

Third-bottom Darlington RA will be unchanged at home to Alnwick Town, looking for another win to get away from the threat of relegation.