Wearside League: Derby replay boosts West End in fight to finish as runners-up

Sunderland West End (red and white) battle to victory against Whitehaven at Ford Quarry last weekend
Sunderland West End (red and white) battle to victory against Whitehaven at Ford Quarry last weekend
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Sunderland West End’s chances of ending runners-up to champions Stockton Town in the TWR Bi Folds Wearside League have been enhanced.

The league management committee has ordered that their fixture with Ashbrooke Belford House should be replayed because Ashbrooke, who won 6-2, played an ineligible player.

The rematch will be staged at Ford Quarry on Monday, May 23, but before then, West End have three games to play, beginning at home to Stockton tomorrow.

Following their win at Spennymoor Town Reserves on Wednesday night, Anth Nelson’s team are now third in the amended table, seven points behind Redcar Athletic with three games in hand.

Nelson will hope to field his strongest line-up, but his opposite number Michael Dunwell is likely to rotate his squad.

Kallum Hannah is expected to start and Liam Jordan takes over in goal for the suspended Michael Arthur. A notable absentee is James Ward, who has turned his attentions to cricket.

Cleator Moor could still finish third, but they must win at Richmond Town, who miss Connor Lyon and Lee White, to have any chance.

Annfield Plain go into their final game at home to Jarrow, licking the wounds inflicted by Redcar, who scored 13 times at Derwent Park on Wednesday.

The Plain have now conceded 139 goals and have the second-worst defensive record behind Murton, who leaked 183 times in the 38-match season.

In a reduced programme of four fixtures, Wolviston host Whitehaven and go without Luke Bennington and Josh Chambers, who are working. In addition, Jae Wilson is doubtful after picking up an ankle injury in the mid-week fixture.

Tonight, Seaham Red Star travel to Norton and Stockton Ancients’ ground for the final of the Durham Trophy (7pm) against Hartlepool.

Star ended the season in second-bottom spot, while Hartlepool are assured of a top-six finish and will aim to complete a treble of silverware.

The club have already won the Durham Minor Cup, via their Reserves, and the Durham FA Under-18 Cup.

Tonight, Andy Blackburn and Johnny Murray are cup-tied, but Jack Swales, Ash Turnbull and Terry Wilkinson are all expected to come through fitness checks.

Coxhoe Athletic secretary Paul Charlton has thanked Spennymoor Town chairman Brad Groves for his club’s support during the last two seasons.

“We have operated as their reserve side, but next season revert back to Coxhoe Athletic. We will, though, still retain a relationship with Spennymoor,” said Charlton.

Coxhoe are holding an end-of-season Sportsman’s Evening in the village hall on Friday May 27.

Former Sunderland player Darren Williams and ex-Newcastle United, Chelsea and Hartlepool United striker Joe Allon will be the speakers. Comedian Terry Joyce will compere the evening.

Tickets, which cost £20, are available from Charlton on 0795 615 9916.