Northern League: Willington fired up to secure 1000th league victory against lowly visitors

Washington (red) take on Guisborough Town in the First Division two weeks ago. Picture by Tim Richardson
Washington (red) take on Guisborough Town in the First Division two weeks ago. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Willington aim to create history in tomorrow’s Second Division match at home to third-bottom Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.

Official Geoff Siddle said: “We’re still looking for our 1000th Northern League win - we’re sitting on 999 and hopefully this Saturday we can reach that milestone.”

Willington showed character in fighting back for a point at Esh Winning last Friday and sit sixth-bottom.

Siddle added: “This will be the second game in a row that the match is against a team below us in the league, so it’s important for us to get something out of it.

“We should have a full squad to choose from.

“Graham Lazonby, who has been out injured for about six weeks, sat on the bench at Esh Winning last Friday night, and we’re expecting him to be fit.”

Out-of-form Easington Colliery hope to turn their fortunes around when they host Bedlington Terriers.

The Colliers expect Callum Hope and Reece Kenney to return, having missed last weekend’s defeat at Billingham Town.

However, Shaun Smith, Dylan Nesbitt and Shane O’Brien are all still missing through injury and Nick Doyle is missing through work commitments.

New signing Josh Lincoln could be involved, having signed for the club last week.

Esh Winning, one of three clubs locked toggedher on 18 points at the bottom, face tricky trip to mid-table Heaton Stannington.

Manager Tony Boakes said: “We’ll be missing Kai Hewitson, Andrew Clarkson and James Latham, plus James Huntley is doubtful with a leg injury.

“We’re joint bottom with Darlington RA and Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, so we need to get a few more points.”

Billingham Town, in fourth, travel to second-bottom Darlington RA, with influential forward Chris Dickinson back.

Manager Barry Oliver said: “We’ll be making five changes this week and bringing in some of our fringe players.

“That’s no disrespect to Darlington RA, but we need to rest players and keep things fresh as we’re still looking at promotion.

“We’ll be looking to maintain our form and keep picking up points where we need too. We have a big month in March.”

Darlington RA have a full squad available.

Hebburn Town welcome leaders Team Northumbria but must do without Glen Hargrave and Adam Rundle.

Boss Scott Oliver, who this week revealed the big problems facing the club with falling gates, said: “The most important part of the day will be the attendance. A lot of nice things have been said but what we really need is the public to turn up for this game.

“If we are to be a Northern League side next season, we cannot do that on crowds of 16. The reaction we have had shows us that people care, but we will find out how much in our remaining home games.”

Key players Nick Green and Daniel Taggart have added to Team Northumbria’s injury problems and may need surgery.

Second-top Stockton Town, three points behind but with a game in hand, host Northallerton. Boss Michael Dunwell has a full squad to choose from, before Kevin Hayes’s suspension starts in midweek.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said: “I see no reason why we can’t burst Stockton’s bubble. It’s a distinct advantage to play on the artificial surface week in week out, but we won on an artificial surface at Consett when we played Durham City earlier in the season and we train on all weather pitches when we are able too.”

There are two matches tonight.

Fourth-bottom Crook Town, eager to earn much needed relegation safety points, welcome neighbours Tow Law Town to the Millfield Ground.

Crook must do without Lewis Brown (suspension).

Tow Law secretary Steve Moralee said: “We should have a full squad to choose from, apart from Ben Collinson, who has an ankle injury.

“It’s a derby, and we hope to keep our good run going.

“Crook will be hoping for a bumper crowd. Hopefully we’ll take the usual supporters and a few groundhoppers. We want the points to keep climbing up the league and get in the FA Cup for next year.

“They want the points because they are not that far above the relegation zone.”

Third-top Billingham Synthonia are at home to Thornaby.

The Synners have a fully fit squad to choose from, minus Matthew Robinson, who is out with a fracture in his foot.