Northern League: Easington introduce new signing Goundry against table-toppers Northallerton
Easington Colliery expect to hand a debut to new signing Tom Goundry as they welcome Division Two leaders Northallerton Town to the Welfare Park tomorrow.
Goundry has signed from Brandon United and is ready to make his bow.
Club captain Chris Pearson missed the recent cup game at Seaham Red Star, but will return alongside Jack Pounder, who will return after being cup-tied that night.
David Vincent and Chris Freeman both require late fitness tests for Easington.
Chester-le-Street travel to Whickham and have a few players out injured.
Kieran Megran, Josh King, Daniel McGuire and Callum Greaves all miss out.
Injury doubts surround Michael and Daniel Hepplewhite, Aaron Thompson and Danny Naylor, but Aaron Reynolds and Conor Lyons return after holidays.
Manager Colin Wake said: “Whickham, earlier in the season, gave us a real hammering at our place, so we go there knowing what to expect.
“They are an all-action, very mobile side, who play to their strengths and at home they make it very difficult for opposing sides, to settle into the game.
“They are a side I fully expect to see in the mix at the end of the season for the top three spots, so we go there knowing we have to be at our very best to try to get anything from the game.”
Durham City take on their landlords at Willington, with Steve Malloy back from a holiday.
Manager Ollie Hotchkiss said: “Ross Simpson is in the squad, but Jeremy Allen is out with knee injury.
“We are looking forward to it if it’s on. It has been a frustrating few weeks with the weather making it difficult to get a game in, but we are excited for the game and hopefully we can continue our form.”
Crook Town journey to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, with manager Chris Lax hoping to add a couple of players to his squad in time for kick-off.Central defenders Matty Stephenson and Ryan Coles both miss out, while forward Kyle Morris is still a doubt with a hamstring strain.
Lax said: “I will be a tough game at Ryton, another must win game.”
Ryton miss Ben Miley, Philip Hodges, Harry Mitchell and Anthony Brown, but have new signings Martin O’Dowd and Jamie Dunn available for selection.
Tow Law Town, in second place, are away to Billingham Town.
Billingham manager James Hunter said: “It’s a really tough game against Tow Law, who have beaten us this season, but we will be looking to put that right at home.
“A huge boost is that we have Ash Lavan back in the squad, after a lengthy ban made even longer due to the winter break and games being postponed.
“On the flip side, Mark Dixon starts his ban for his red card at Hebburn and Elliott Beddow, who has been really positive lately, is unavailable due to work.
“We have a new keeper now, in Liam Gibbs, who is a young boy and could make his debut, due to Lewis Shaw coming back from injury.
“We will be looking to put things right after the Hebburn game and get back to winning ways, but we know it will be tough.”
Hebburn Town, in sixth place, travel to fifth-top Heaton Stannington, with only goal difference separating the two teams.
Hebburn miss Dave Coulson and Ian Bickerstaff but have 18 players to choose from.
Boss Scott Oliver said: “Whickham are the only team in the top six to beat us this season and the fact that we have the best defensive record in our league means we are capable of getting the result we need.”
Brandon United welcome Jarrow and will be at full strength, with no new injury problems. They are also hoping to make a couple of new signings in time for the game.
Elsewhere, Alnwick Town welcome Thornaby and Bedlington Terriers entertain Darlington RA.