Wearside League: Martin back from six months away to help West End's bid to reach a third cup final
Sunderland West End welcome Keiron Martin back from six months away as they bid to reach a third cup final of the season tomorrow.
Richmond Town are the visitors to Ford Quarry in the semi-final of the TWR Shipowners Charity Cup (2pm kick-off).
West End joint manager Anthony Nelson, whose side are already through to the finals of the Monkwearmouth Cup and the Durham County Trophy, said: “I have a full squad to pick from and welcome back Keiron Martin, who has been working away for the last six months.
“It will be a hard game, it always is against Richmond, but we are hoping to win and get into our third final.
“We have no excuses, as we have a full squad to pick from.”
Richmond have Simon Pinkney back for the trip north, but Michael Layfield and Joshua Cartledge have been sidelined for three weeks due to injuries.
Kalumn Holbrook has lifted spirits, returning from a nine-month lay-off, following knee surgery, but Chris Pattison has work commitments.
Manager Jonathan Kellett said: “We are looking forward to the game. Hopefully the weather will stay how it is and let us get the game in. It will be a tough game for us against a strong team.”
There is also a semi-final in the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup, with Redcar Athletic hosting Wolviston.
Redcar miss the suspended David Abel and manager Steve Connolly is likely to again rely on youngster Jordan Kirk, who stepped in last time out.
Athletic have a few options up front, with Anthony Jones, now fully fit, joining Daniel Drazdauskas, Jack Simpson, Jordan Rivis, Adam Preston and Joel Callender.
Wolviston manager Steve Cook has a full squad available for their biggest match of the season.
He said: “It will be a very difficult game for us, but we are buoyed by the fact that we are still the only side this season to have beaten Redcar in the Wearside League.
“Alex Maphosa will be returning to Green Lane after playing for Redcar a few years ago and this will undoubtedly help raise his game for us.”
In the league, Silksworth CW make the long journey to Windscale.
Manager Andrew Stobbart said: “The squad has trained well during the break and the players are absolutely desperate to get back to playing matches, following the recent bad weather.
“We have a number of players available again and they will all be pushing for a starting place, so competition is fierce.”
Silksworth still miss the suspended Jonathan Hodgson, but otherwise should be almost at full strength.
Keeper Jak Wright continues his rehabilitation after surgery and is expected to be back in the next month or so. Dan Thompson returns after a leg injury.
Windscale manager Dave Wilkinson only has worries over defender Steve Walker and Jordan Bowness. Dan Morgan hopes to be able to get time off work to play.
Boldon CA, in fourth place, have an attractive derby at Harton and Westoe CW.
Boldon chairman Kevin Oliver said: “It’s a big derby and, unfortunately, we will be without top goalscorer Adam Bell, who has suspected tonsillitis.
“Harton have improved since we played them last time out and I think fitness could be an issue as it’s been difficult to do any training with the weather, but we will see what happens!”
Harton must do without central midfielders Andy Hill and Chris Foster, but they welcome back centre-back Andrew Burdon, who has been a big miss whilst he has been away working.
Boss David Crumbie is also pleased with the form of star goalkeeper Dan Hebden, who has recovered from the injury which forced him off early against Hebburn Town Reserves.
Second-top Hebburn Town Reserves, just one point behind leaders Cleator Moor Celtic, travel to lowly Stokesley SC.
South Shields Reserves go to Hartlepool and manager Leepaul Scroggins should have a full squad to select from.
Pool have had a few weeks off, so they will be looking to get back into action. But for any late work commitments, they expect to have the same squad as selected for last Saturday.
Elsewhere, Annfield Plain host table-toppers Cleator Moor Celtic and Leam Rangers visit Darlington Reserves, with a switch of venue.
Troubled Prudhoe Town’s trip to fellow strugglers Coxhoe Athletic has been postponed.