Wearside League: Boss Cook looks for West End to kick-start season
Sunderland West End aim to turn their season around with victory at home to Annfield Plain tomorrow (2pm kick-off).
A five-match run without a win in league and cup has piled the pressure on the Ford Quarry outfit.
Plain are 13th, two points and one place above West End, who have a strong squad to choose from, although Brad Foster and Micky Wharton are missing.
Manager Barry Cook said: “It will be a difficult game and we are looking to put our last few weeks’ disappointments behind us and start putting a run together.”
Annfield Plain assistant manager Chris Connell said: “Gary Mackay back in the fold, but Gavin Lisle and Kai Hewitson are out suspended.
“Scott Watson is back in the team, and Carl Malpass is back from injury. We’re just hoping the game is on - we want all three points and our aim is to get in the top eight by Christmas.”
Ashbrooke Belford House entertain Silksworth CW in an attractive derby at Silksworth Welfare Park.
Belford miss broken jaw victim John Coomber and David Scott (ankle), while Dale Wells is doubtful.
However, Connor O’Neil, Josh Farquhar, Kieron Stokoe, Mason Burton, Jack Murphy, Kyle Sumner, Mark Green and Gary Brooks all return to the Ashbrooke squad.
Karl Burns has left Silksworth and David Stevens is still out with a long-term injury, but Dean Randall, who missed out last week because of work commitments, is available.
Secretary David Steele said: “A fierce contest between two local teams is expected, and we really do need to put some results together to consolidate our position in fourth. Manager Andy Stobbart is considering several changes this week.”
Boldon CA welcome Seaham Red Star Reserves.
Jonny Gage is expected back after missing a few games because of work commitments. Liam Cox is also available and there will be fitness tests for Jack Young and James Pickering.
Secretary Kevin Oliver said: “We need to pick ourselves up after getting beat last Saturday. We’re trying to get back to winning ways.”
Red Star Reserves manager Callum Milne said: “Hopefully we will have Brennan Ball, Marc Ruddock and David Baker back. Ryan Martin is missing due to work commitments.
“We’re expecting a tough game, but hopefully we’ll give them a good game.”
South Shields Reserves are at home to Redcar Athletic, whose goalkeeper, Will Lawrence, faces a race to be fit in time for the game, after being stretchered off with a leg injury last week.
Striker Adam Preston made a goalscoring return after signing from West Auckland and is hoping it’s the start of a fruitful partnership with leading scorer Andy Jennings.
Shields secretary Philip Reay said: “We hope to have Lewis Stratford back - he’s been missing through injury, he’ll have a fitness test and hopefully he can play in some part.
“Nathan Sinclair is still unavailable through injury, as is Gary Crutwell. It’ll be a very difficult game, but a good game between two sides near the top of the table.”
Coxhoe Athletic travel to Darlington 1883 Reserves and have Ross Morrow available after serving his two-match suspension, but David Gibson is suspended and Neil Charlton is injured.
Hartlepool travel to Cleator Moor Celtic, with Sam Cook and Joe Osbourne expected to return after missing out last weekend.
Skipper Alex Marshall returns after missing most of the season due to an operation and Ash Clark returns after a month out.
The Cumbrians, inactive since a Cumberland Cup tie on November 2, are free of injuries and suspensions.
Leaders Jarrow travel to second-placed Richmond Town in the match of the day.
The Dalesmen welcome back Sam Grainger, Nathan O’Connor, Connor Lyon, Lee White and Simon Pinkney, after they missing last week’s win against Sunderland West End.
Jason Newall is a doubt after coming off last weekend with a groin injury and Josh Knox misses out due to work commitments.
Jarrow are without Josh Allen, Kai Elliott, Max Kirkham and Grant Pressling, who is still a few weeks away from fitness.
Jonny Hirst, Andy Wilkinson and Aaron Kah should all be fit to play, while Micky Turnbull joins the squad for the first time and Kris Allen is available.
Boss Dave Bell said: “Richmond have scored the most goals in the league, do not concede many and have the best goal difference. At home. they have only been beaten once in the league and are free scoring.
“This game is a massive test for us and we know how difficult this game will be.
“Richmond beat us in the cup early on in the season after extra time, and from then on have gone on a great run.
“We know we need to be at our best for this game and continue with our hard work that we have shown all season.”