Northern League: Cestrians hit by injury woes for Brandon clash as Blinco makes bow for visitors
Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake has injury problems ahead of tomorrow's Second Division battle at home to fellow strugglers Brandon United.
Wake, fresh from a fine win at Darlington RA last week, said: “We have injury concerns with Josh King, Tom Iley, Andrew Clarkson, Craig Marron Aaron Thompson and Danny Hepplewhite.
“However, Lee Mole, Michael Hepplewhite and Connor Lyon return to the squad.
“We are hoping to put another encouraging performance together, which will last 90 minutes rather than just 45! We are confident going into the game, after a recent upturn in points won.”
Brandon will have ex-Sunderland U23s forward Jordan Blinco making his debut and have a full squad to choose from.
Durham City face a tough trip to leaders Northallerton Town, who have injury problems. Andrew Shepherd and Shaun Hudson both sustained bad injuries in midweek.
Boss Darren Trotter said: “We don’t have a big squad and we will down to the bare bones.
“Chris Dickinson, signed from Billingham Town, made his debut in midweek and scored and could have had a couple more. He is certain to retain his place. Karl Hewitt, Liam Jarvie and Mattie Dixon, should be back to supplement the numbers.”
Crook Town welcome West Allotment Celtic, with defender Ryan Coles and winger Callum Smith both doubts after picking up knocks.
Left-back Joseph Spooner and midfielder Ethan Harker return after missing last week’s win over Hebburn Town.
New manager Chris Lax said: “We are looking for a third league home win in a row in a six-pointer against West Allotment Celtic.
Billingham Town, in seventh but only five points from a promotion slot, hot Blyth, who are fifth and have lost only once in their last six games.
Ryton & Crawcrook Albion have six players definitely out at home to Darlington RA, but they welcome back Callum Turnbull and Ben Miley. Manager Tony Fawcett said: “Although we have had two terrific results in a row, we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground and the game against Darlington RA is the biggest yet.”
RA have a few injuries, so final assessments will be made just before the game, according to manager Peter Mulcaster.
Jarrow have Kai Elliott and Josh Allen back at home to Thornaby.
Joint manager Chris Hutchinson said: “We are looking to continue our recent good performances against a well-established Northern League team tomorrow.
“We are continuing to grow and develop in this tough league and have conceded only one goal in our last four league games.
“However, we need to start putting the finishing touch to the chances we are creating in front of goal and a home fixture will give us the opportunity.”
There are two big matches tonight.
Esh Winning host second-top Tow Law Town, whose secretary, Steve Moralee said: “We expect David Mitchell coming back from injury and have no other suspensions, or other injuries. It is a local derby and should be an entertaining game.”
Hebburn Town, in fourth position and five points behind leaders Northallerton Town, entertain sixth-top Whickham who are pushing for promotion themselves.
Hebburn miss Scott Wallace and Town boss Scott Oliver says his strikers must start delivering what they were brought to the club to do.
He said: “We have put pressure on ourselves of late due to poor finishing - it’s not bad luck, simply poor play.
“Players have been brought here to produce and have had a dip in form.
“We must put that right against Whickham.
“There’s not much I can do when we miss chance after chance like at Crook last Saturday.
“I am confident we will put things right starting with tonight’s game. Lads have been rested and will be raring to go.”