Northern League: Four-goal Easington Colliery climb to 10th place in fine style
Easington Colliery moved up to 10th place in Division Two last night when they beat West Allotment Celtic 4-1.
They went ahead on four minutes, when Michael Cooke’s cross was not cleared and David Vincent finish off from six yards.
Jack Pounder soon made oit 2-0, firing home at the back post, but Bruno Mendes-Correia pulled one back. Pounder headed over before Lewis Green brilliantly set up Vincent to make it 3-1 on 75 minutes. Pounder completed the scoring five minutes later.
Crook Town slipped to fourth-bottom spot, losing 1-0 to relegation rivals Bedlington Terriers, with Stephen Young netting five minutes from time.
Bottom club Alnwick grabbed a lifeline with a 2-1 win at Willington, with Conor Winter replying to Chris Laidlaw’s brace.
Billingham Town held leaders Blyth 1-1. Reece Kenney put Town ahead, but Daniel Wilson equalised.
Tomorrow, Easington travel to Alnwick Town, with Jake Metcalf returning, but club captain Chris Pearson is expected to miss out, along with Ethan Wood.
Durham City welcome high-flying Blyth to Willington. Manager Ollie Hotchkiss said: “Steve Malloy and Ross Simpson will be back in the squad, but Jack Wilkie is rated 50/50.
“This will be a difficult game against the best side in the league, but if we can perform well we can hopefully get a positive result.”
Chester-le-Street visit struggling Crook, who could be in danger if three, or more teams, are relegated.
Crook boss Chris Lax said: “Forward Christian Holliday is missing due to his anniversary, but centre-half Ryan Coles returns after missing the game at Bedlington.
“Forward Ben Clarke and winger Daniel Johnston both return after long-term injuries and I will be looking for another three points to keep this mini revival going.”
Chester manager Colin Wake added: “We are really struggling for players, after all the games have taken a toll on the players.”
Scott Robson, Daniel Hepplewhite, Sam Moore, Aaron Reynolds, Mark Peck, Kevin Dixon, Dan Walker and David Surrey are all absent.
Wake added: “We will give it a go with the squad we can pull together, but, after extending the season, I feel they should have also have extended the transfer/signing of players to help us cope with the new extreme demands being placed on the players.”
Tow Law, with only one win from six matches, host second-placed Whickham, who are looking to get back on track after a 3-0 midweek loss at Heaton Stannington.
The Lawyers lost their Ernest Armstrong Cup quarter-final 4-3 on penalties to Ryton & Crawcrook last night.
Third-top Hebburn Town are two points behind Whickham and travel to Ryton. Keeper Steve Hubery misses out and Simon Parkin will replace him.
Boss Scott Oliver said: “Promotion is in our hands now. We are 15 games unbeaten and in a good place. We have achieved nothing yet and must keep on winning. The teams around us have lost games in the last week, but they will bounce back as they are solid teams at this level.
“Ryton will not be easy and will not roll over - we expect a tough game. Saturday is the start of three games in four days, but we have the squad to handle that.”
Northallerton, down to fourth, are at home to Esh Winning without Shaun Hudson and potentially Aaron Ramsbottom, but Richie Walker, injured in midweek, could return.
Second-bottom Brandon United host third-bottom Darlington RA in a vital game.
Brandon joint manager Barry Ross said: “We should have Grant Hickman, Warren Byrne, Niall Fingleton, Craig Hindmarch, Chris Spence and Reece Marshall all returning to the squad.”
“Michael Searby and David Mould are both unavailable, as well as the injured Connor Lowes and Kyle Wren.”
Billingham Town entertain Heaton Stannington and manager James Hunter welcome back Jack Connor, club captain Steve Oakley, Jason Blackburn (returning from suspension) and Glen Hargrave, meaning we have a relatively full squad for the first time in a long time.
“I know it will be difficult, but, if we move the ball as well as we can, I believe we will cause them problems. Jake Fenton, Jamie Bellamy and Mark Ward are unavailable.”
Willington are away to West Allotment Celtic.
Chairman Richard Tremewan said: “We have no suspensions or injuries, so will have a full squad to choose from.
“As we have a punishing schedule of six games in nine days, we need to shuffle the team around and rotate players.
“Saturday will be the second of the six games. We’re already guaranteed our highest finish in the league, but we hope to climb a couple of places higher before the season draws to a close.”
Jarrow take on Bedlington Terriers at Perth Green.
Manager Dave Bell said: “We have Kris Goss and Aidan McGee injured and David Smith is really doubtful, while Kai Elliott and Max Kirkham are unavailable. We are hopeful Paul Burrell will be available following a long lay-off through injury.”
Bell added: “This week has been tough with games on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. The lads have been superb as they have throughout the whole season and the three days’ rest is welcome.
“We have only lost once in seven games, but Bedlington are on a good run.
“With four games left we are looking to pick up as many points as we can, so we can finish in the highest position possible in this our first Northern League season.”