Northern League: Durham City eager to get cracking at faltering Tow Law
Durham City have an intriguing home Division Two clash against Tow Law Town at Willington tomorrow.
City are looking for a boost, having lost four of their last five games in league and cup, while Lawyers have slipped to sixth place following one point in three matches.
City manager Ollie Hotchkiss said: “Philip Hayes is out with a hamstring injury, Steven Malloy is out with an abdominal injury and Josh Rodgers will be out for a while, due to an ankle knock.
“However, Josh Thompson and Matthew Smith both return to the squad for the game.
“We are hoping the game is on - it has been frustrating lately with the weather.
“After our last game, when we lost to Whickham, the players will be desperate to prove a point. Hopefully we can get back to performing well and hopefully get the win against Tow Law.”
Easington Colliery welcome Billingham Town to Welfare Park, with James Talbot back in the squad, alongside Jake Metcalf and captain Chris Pearso.
Shaun Smith and Chris Freeman could miss out.
Billingham Town manager James Hunter said: “Easington are on a good run at the moment - it will be a tough game, but I know, if our effort levels are high and we stick together, we can get a result
“We need to bounce back after the poor loss at West Allotment Celtic. We do have a couple missing, in Jack Connor and Elliott Beddow, however, Kris Summers comes back after a long injury lay-off.
“It’s been an awkward week and a half with no game and it has proved difficult to find anywhere to train with the snow, so getting back into training this week.”
Chester-le-Street travel to West Allotment Celtic, missing only injured pair Kieran Megran and Tom Iley.
Manager Colin Wake said: “Apart from that, we have a full squad to select from and we hope to give a long-awaited debut to Sam Moore.
“We have bad memories of playing on 3G surfaces from last year up at Consett, so we will be looking to put some demons to bed. We will just be glad to get some football on after the little mini-break.”
Crook Town host Jarrow, with manager Chris Lax revealing: “We only have one player missing from the squad of 25 and that’s influential midfielder Callum Johnston, who misses out due to an ankle injury picked up in the defeat against Durham City.
“We’ll look to get another win against Jarrow and produce the kind of performance we expect and showed against Tow Law.”
Jarrow miss Jordon Mellish, who starts a four-match ban, plus Peter Kane (injured) and Luke Collins (unavailable). They hope Kris Allen recovers from injury in time to feature.
Manager Dave Bell said: “We are really looking forward to getting back into the rhythm of games, as, I am sure, Crook will be, so both teams should be up for this one.
“We know how we can play on our day and we will be looking for a top performance.
“We are looking forward to the many challenges of the remaining games. We beat Crook 2-0 earlier in the season, but we know they have improved a lot since then, so this will be a much more difficult challenge.”
Hebburn Town, in fourth, travel to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, who welcome Callum Turnbull back to a near full-strength squad after his broken nose. Long-term absentee Anthony Brown remains out.
Hebburn are without Iain Bickerstaff, David Coulson, Adam Rundle and John Sherlock.
Boss Scott Oliver said: “We hope that the game goes ahead as we trained well on Wednesday night and are looking forward to a tough game against a Ryton side that we drew with at home in November.
“There will be twists and turns during the run-in, but we are looking forward to the challange.
“John Sherlock will be a miss as he has been playing well since he signed, but our squad is strong and we shuffle the pack so it does not disrupt us.
“We have a two-week gap after the Ryton game, so it is important to pick up three points to put pressure on the three teams above us.”
Willington, whose long unbeaten run was ended by Hebburn last time out, visit Heaton Stannington, who have taken just one point from their last three home games.
Esh Winning miss suspended striker Nick Marley at Bedlington Terriers, as well as Chris Mordue and Kai Hewitson.
Boss Tony Boakes said: “New signing Sean Johnson will feature in the squad. Other than that, I have a full squad to choose from.”
Lowly Brandon United have a tough trip to Ashington to take on second-top Blyth.
Secretary Barry Ross said: “We haven’t had a game for two weeks, so it’s hard to say how it will go.
“Connor Lowes and Nathan Stephenson are out due to injury, and there are doubts over goalkeeper Jack Patton due to him having stitches. Other than that, we have a full team available.”
Elsewhere, the bottom two meet at Brinkburn Road where Darlington RA host Alnwick Town and Whickham, in third, entertain fifth-top Thornaby.