Northern League: Mechanics geared up to must-win showdown with bottom-three rivals Jarrow Roofing

Washington face a crunch First Division relegation match at Jarrow Roofing tomorrow, weather permitting.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 1:30 pm
Washington (red) take on Sunderland RCA in the Northern League last week. Picture by Tim Richardson

Mechanics are second-bottom, 12 points adrift of safety, with third-bottom Roofing five points better off.

Washington official Andrew Gibson said: “Roofing are right in the relegation mix, only five points ahead of us, however, Roofing have three games in hand.

“With uncertainty on how many teams will be relegated come the end of the season, this is sure to be a must-win game for both teams.

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“We will take heart from our performance on Monday night, despite losing the game in the final minutes at Team North.

“We were the better team and dominated play for most of the game. The return of club captain Alex White was a massive boost and his experience will be critical.”

Ryhope CW look to end a four-game losing streak when they entertain bottom club Billingham Synthonia.

Manager Gary Pearson, whose side won 3-0 away to Synners in August, said: “Joey Melvin, Michael Rae, Ben Riding and Tom Bott will all be available for selection again this weekend.

“However, long-term injuries David Gordon and Chris Wallace are still unavailable.

“We are hoping for anything better than Saturday’s result, when we were hammered 6-2 (by North Shields). But he scoreline was a false reflection of the game, as we didn’t play that badly.

“We need to get back to winning ways and start to enjoy the season again. We’ve missed too many games recently due to the weather - our midweek game being the latest casualty - and we need to get back into the flow again. A win would help enormously.”

Synthonia have Connor Hood and Ryan Braithwaite back, after being cup-tied against Dunston UTS in midweek.

Secretary Graham Craggs said: “We’ve been rock bottom of the league, but have been playing better recently and hope to get a few points on the board to make life easier for everyone.

“Unfortunately, we’re resigned to the fact that we are going to be relegated.”

Sunderland RCA travel to leaders Morpeth Town for a testing challenge.

Meadow Park manager Martin Swales said: “James Cassidy will miss the game due to work commitments.

“Kieron Parnaby will be back in the squad, as will Clayton Davis and goalkeeper Neal Bussey, and Nathan O’Neill will need a fitness test.

“This will be another very tough fixture. When we go up there, we always give them a very good game, so hopefully we’ll get a result there and upset the odds.”

Seaham Red Star host Team Northumbria, looking to build on the 4-1 midweek League Cup win over Easington Colliery.

Manager Chris McCabe said: “We changed things around following a few disappointing displays recently, and it helped with the balance of the side against Easington.

“Lee Hetherington was asked to play a different role and, for 75 minutes, it worked very well.

“We’ve added Craig Lynch to the coaching team, whilst he’s recovering from injury and his influence from the dugout throughout the game, was very good.”

Liam McBryde, Aaron Croft and Ash Davis missed the midweek win against Easington and are expected to return, but Kieran Galbraith and Lynch remain out with injuries.

Blyth Spartans have recalled Dylan McGlade from his loan spell.

Consett, in fifth place, journey to third-top North Shields, with only goal differences separating the two teams.

Consett secretary David Pyke said: “It’ll be a tough game away to North Shields, it always is.

“They’re just above us in the league so they will be favourites. It depends on the weather, hopefully it will go ahead, but we still have a few players out injured though.”

Fourth-placed Shildon travel to Ashington, who will give fitness tests to Ben Christensen and Dylan Williamson.

Ryan Bell and Lee McAndrew are both definitely sidelined with injuries.

West Auckland welcome Marske United in arguably the match of the day,

West definitely miss suspended midfielder Anthony Bell, while Darren Richardson and Alex Francis face fitness tests.

West official Cliff Alderson said: “We anticipate a good game, as Marske are second in the league and we’re sixth. We won when we played there, so they’ll be looking for revenge, it should be a competitive, top of the table clash.”

Marske have no injury or suspension worries and expect to have a full squad to choose from, except for long-term absentee Andy Ramsbottom.

Stockton Town are at Dunston UTS, with Kevin Hayes and Nathan Mulligan due to complete their three-match suspensions.

Other than that, manager Michael Dunwell will have the rest of his squad to choose from.

Dunston have fitness doubts over Dan Lowther, Mark Fitzpatrick, Adam Rundle and David Hiftle, but Dale Burrell, Aiden Grant and Kelvin Thear return.

Newcastle Benfield entertain Penrith and Whitley Bay host Guisborough Town.