Wearside League: Silksworth determined to build on morale-boosting victory in long trip to Windscale
Silksworth CW travel to Windscale tomorrow looking for back to back victories, weather permitting.
The Wearsiders outgunned Annfield Plain 4-0 last weekend to climb to ninth place, with their hosts down in third-bottom spot but on a decent run of results.
Silksworth manager Andrew Stobbart said: “We were delighted with last weekend’s performance against Annfield Plain, which saw us control the game for large parts and take our chances, which is probably what was missing in our previous few losses.
“We will look to take that tempo and performance into the game against Windscale and have competition due to players returning from injury and a couple of good signings.
“Performances from the bench have been good in the last few games, which will push players into contention for starting berths.
“The squad has been replenished since a spate of injuries and Nathan Renton looks to be available again after further muscle problems.
“Defender Josh Perry will also return to the squad after work commitments. Paul Muir continues his suspension longer than expected, due to games called off pre-Christmas.”
The Cumbrians’ manager, Dave Wilkinson, welcomes back captain Ray Sempill, who missed last Saturday’s win due to personal reasons.
But the main man missing will be his assistant, Geoff Nicholson, who has stepped down due to an ongoing health problem.
Wilkinson said: “Geoff’s enthusiasm and infectious humour will be sorely missed by all at the club. We wish him well.”
Sunderland West End head down the A19 to visit Hartlepool.
West End secretary Anthony Golden said: “We’re looking to bounce back after last week’s disappointing 3-3 draw, with Harton and Westoe.
“We had chances to kill off the game last week, but we were facing a young, fit side, who pressed us all the way.
“We’re optimistic we’ll do better against Hartlepool this week.”
Hartlepool have Lee Jones, Dean Cope, Joe Osbourne, plus Sam Cook and skipper Matty Gardner, all back in contention.
“West End won the reverse fixture with late goals and all our games with them have been close hard fought affairs,” said secretary John Ward, whose team went down 3-2 in a midweek friendly against Shildon.
Boldon CA, in third place, journey to seventh-placed Wolviston for what should be an attractive match.
Manager Paul Mossa can concentrate on the league after going out of the Shipowners Cup on penalties, ending all interest in knockout football for this season.
South Shields Reserves entertain high-flying Redcar Athletic and manager Leepaul Scroggins hopes to be able to return to the squad, having missed out last week due to illness.
He also looks forward to the return of Tommy Conroy to the squad, following injury, plus Ryan Lamb, who was unavailable last week.
Codie Howe is rated at 50-50 following an injury last week.
Scroggins said: “I am buoyed by the upturn in the side’s fortunes since the turn of the year, however I am under no illusion that the game represents a tough task for my side.”
Redcar will be without Anthony Jones, but Lance Skelton is back after suspension.
Stuart Browne is likely to return to defensive duties, but may have to settle for a place on the bench as Jordan Kirk has not put a foot wrong in at centre-back.
Jordan Rivis looks set to remain up front, as he has scored in every game since moving up from his normal midfield spot.
Striker Adam Preston has been suffering with flu, but hopes to be fit.
Coxhoe Athletic welcome Harton and Westoe CW, with goalkeeper Luke Cowie unavailable.
Secretary Paul Charlton said: “Tom Maddison, who missed last weekend’s game through illness, will again be missing from the squad.
“Jack Rooney is doubtful and Dylan Crooks will be having a fitness before the game, after coming off injured last week. Other than that, we have more or less a full squad to choose from.
“Our main aim is to try and get a win, to get some points on the board.
“We played well last week, but got nothing to show for our hard work, so will press on and hope to get a result.”
Harton and Westoe CW’s Andrew Hill doubtful, as he is struggling with a knee injury and will be tested ahead of kick-off.
But Liam Mulvain is available again and Gavin Strong also returns, having served his one-game ban.
Manager David Crumbie said: “In the West End game last week (a 3-3 draw), the grit and determination was excellent.
“At no point during the game were they considering defeat, which is a huge progression from last year and certainly the start of the season.
“The club have also been approached for players from higher level clubs, but all the players approached have reiterated their desire to be part of this club and take this squad to the next level.”
The bottom two teams meet up, as Prudhoe Town entertain Stokesley SC, while Leam Rangers visit in-form Darlington Reserves and Annfield Plain face a tough task against second-placed Cleator Moor Celtic at Derwent Park.
Richmond Town head to Boro Rangers for their North Riding Cup quarter-final, with only Kalumn Holbrook unavailable.
On the plus side, his recovery from the knee injury suffered on the final day of last season is progressing nicely.
Michael Gunnell serves a one-match suspension and manager Jonathon Kellett has added Lewis Cocks to his squad, signing the local lad from Darlington Reserves.