Wearside League: On-song Sunderland West End look for quickfire double against Stokesley
Sunderland West End look to complete a quickfire double when they host Stokesley SC at Ford Quarry tomorrow (2.30pm kick-off).
The sides met on Wednesday night in a thrilling battle in North Yorkshire, with the Wearsiders, pegged back to 3-3 after going three goals ahead, securing victory with a stoppage-time Lee Smith strike.
Barry Turton made a welcome return at Stokesley, after missing out recently through work commitments, and he will look to feature again.
Goalkeeper Graham Pickering conceded three goals in Stokesley’s gallant fightback, but his impressive form has been a mainstay of West End’s excellent campaign.
Joint manager Anthony Nelson said: “A second win against lowly Stokesley SC should maintain our quest for a top-three finish, as the hectic season draws to a close.”
Silksworth CW, who rose to sixth place after winning 4-2 at Annfield Plain in a rearranged game on the 3G surface at Consett on Tuesday, travel to Wolviston.
But they must do without midfielder James Cook and forward Nathan Renton.
Striker Paul Muir returns to the squad, though, along with goalkeeper Joe Clayton, defender Josh Perry and winger David Stevens.
Manager Andrew Stobbart said: “It’s going to be another tough game against a good Wolviston side, but we will take plenty of confidence from our recent performances into this match.”
Wolviston miss defender Andrew McGirr (suspension) and full-back Robbie Gratton, but central defender Spencer Nicholson hopes to be fit again, after suffering concussion last week at Leam Rangers.
Utility player Dimitri Kehi returns.
Metcalfe Park manager Steve Cook is aware of the importance of the game, saying: “Silksworth are now biting at our heels for sixth position (level on points). Whoever wins will take charge of that position, so we must avoid defeat.”
Second-top Hebburn Town Reserves are at Richmond Town and have a full strength squad to choose from, excepting Jonny Bainbridge, who is out for the rest of the season.
Manager Kev Bolam said: “We want to keep our winning run going, but Richmond are always tough opposition, so we’re expecting a hard game.”
Bottom club Coxhoe Athletic welcome Harton and Westoe CW and will have Philip Best and Rees Ogilvy back in the squad.
Unfortunately, Dylan Crooks is doubtful after picking up an injury on Monday night.
Goalkeeper Jack Elcoat will be available, as well as Afiq Saiful, their promising recent 17-year-old signing.
South Shields Reserves journey to Leam Rangers with several players returning to somewhere near full fitness, including Thomas Conroy, Jordan Reed and Graham Stephenson.
Secretary Phil Reay said: “We need a good performance to steer clear of the lower regions of the league, but our task may be a difficult one after buoyant Leam Rangers’ recent cup final victory.”
Hartlepool are at leaders Cleator Moor Celtic and have Matty Gardner, Lee Jones and Dean Cope returning.
Secretary John Ward said: “The club were not happy that the official did not stop the game, when goalkeeper Elliot Coils was laid out in the build up to Hebburn’s second goal last weekend, allowing play to go on and eventually they scored.”
Third-top Redcar Athletic head west to Windscale, who hope to have Jordan Livingstone returning from injury.
Wide man Dean Fox and centre-half Dan Morgan miss out for the Cumbrians.
Redcar make the long journey without manager Steve Connolly, so coach Doug Hislop will take the reins of the senior team for the first time.
Jordan Rivis and Jordan Kirk hope to be available after recent illnesses, while Sam Webster is battling a leg injury, but did manage the full 90 minutes in Monday’s dramatic 2-1 victory against Silksworth.
Annfield Plain host Darlington Reserves.