RYHOPE CW aim to take another step towards the championship and possible promotion from the Wearside League when they meet Prudhoe Town at Kimberley Park tonight, writes MALCOLM PRATT.
The Wearsiders are a point ahead of Redcar Athletic and have a game in hand on their only rivals in the championship race.
Martin Swales’ defending champs also boast a significantly better goal difference. They have racked up 106 goals and conceded just 19 – and have not leaked a goal in the last seven games.
“We have been in excellent form recently, but we’ve got to keep it going if we are to realise our ambition of joining the STL Northern League,” said secretary Dougie Benison.
“Our ground was inspected last week and we expect to know on Friday whether the facilities meet the criteria.”
Dean Arkley, Nathan Johnson and Richard Jordan return tonight, and Prudhoe Town will also field a strong line-up. Their only definite absentee is Lee Best, but Chris Winn is doubtful after having to withdraw in the 22nd minute of Saturday’s game.
Redcar Athletic have also applied for promotion and, at home to Kirkbymoorside, hope that Richie Playforth will make his comeback after being sidelined for several weeks with an ankle injury. Gregg Boughey is struggling with a leg injury.
Manager Roy Hunter, in his first season in charge, saw his side equal their record number of points against Ashbrooke Belford House on Saturday.
Silksworth Rangers, with just three fixtures to fulfil, play their last home game against Cleator Moor Celtic tonight.
Four wins in the last six games give Rangers a chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.
Captain Dean Hannah returns to a full-strength squad which includes Matthew Robson and Gary Blenkiron, who have been signed from junior football.
Ashbrooke Belford House are minus several players away to Darlington Cleveland Bridge.
Stephen Halliday, Glen Moan, Mark Green, Jake Moan, Alan Young and Jack Lilley are all ruled out and manager Tommy Dobbing also awaits news on Paul Robertson and Kenny Taylor.
Dave Scott is back and Dobbing could also field Kyle Emmerson and Shaun Ross, two newcomers.
Bridge are stronger with the inclusion of Martyn Stubbings, Will Kelly and Neil Jackson.