Wearside League: Sunderland West End look to put shoot-out misery behind them by reaching another final
Sunderland West End look to put their Durham County Trophy final disappointment behind them by reaching another final tomorrow.
The Ford Quarry men travel to Earls Orchard to play their third cup semi-final of the season, as they take on Richmond Town in the TWR Shipowners’ Charity Cup (2.30pm).
West End were pipped by Leam Rangers on penalties after a goalless draw in their Good Friday final, but they will hope to sink Richmond to set up a derby final against Silksworth CW.
West End secretary Anthony Golden said: “We have a full squad to choose from and we are going to try and get last week’s cup final defeat, out of our heads!
“We have a lot of games to get through before the end of the season, starting with this semi-final match.
“It looks as though Richmond have turned the corner recently and have come into a bit of form lately, so it will be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it.”
There are six league matches scheduled, with 2.30pm kick-off times, weather permitting.
Silksworth CW entertain second-placed Hebburn Town Reserves in an attractive showdown.
Silksworth assistant manager Willie Crew said “The last game we played against Hebburn was an extremely tight and entertaining encounter, which we were competitive in until the end.
“We have been in excellent form, so hopefully that will hold us in good stead.
“We are under no illusions though, this will be a very tough encounter.”
Boss Andrew Stobbart revealed: “There are changes in midfield, as Jonathan Hodgson makes a belated return from suspension this week and Michael McVay is expected to be available again, but Alex Kempster is unavailable due to work.”
Hebburn Town Reserves manager Kevin Bolam said: “We have a full strength team apart from Jamie Lawson, who has work commitments, and Josh Haughton, who is also unavailable.
“James Wilson returns to the squad after a long-term injury. I am just hoping the weather improves and we manage to get the game in, to be honest.”
Fourth-placed Boldon CA host Windscale, one of four consecutive games at home.
Manager Paul Mossa hopes to have striker Adam Bell available, after recovering from his appendix operation.
Goalkeeper Alan Greenan is back to full fitness to give Mossa a big boost for the run-in. Striker Michael Young is away on holiday, though, and midfielder Tom West is having treatment for a tight calf and recovering well
Windscale captain Ray Sempill may be available for the trip to Boldon, after recovering quicker than expected from kidney bruising.
But centre-half Dan Morgan is again at work and may not get time off. Midfielder Darren Donald is doubtfuly.
The bottom two play each other, as Coxhoe Athletic welcome Stokesley SC to Beechfield Park.
Athletic are currently bottom and four points behind the North Yorkshire outfit, so they will be looking to make home advantage count.
Hartlepool begin a run of three home games in a rowwhen they entertain South Shields Reserves at Grayfields Enclosure.
Sam Cook returns from holiday for Pool, who should otherwise have their usual squad available.
South Shields Reserves face a run of four games in eight days and manager Leepaul Scroggins said: “The next week is going to test the strength and character of my squad.
“I hope that the players avoid injuries, as there will be little time to recover between games.”
Elsewhere, new Durham County Trophy winners Leam Rangers take on Darlington Reserves at the Hilltop ground, while Harton and Westoe CW entertain leaders Cleator Moor Celtic.
Tonight, Redcar Athletic host Wolviston in their Monkwearmouth Charity Cup semi-final (7.30pm).
The home side are attempting to make Green Lane playable, with help from local rivals Redcar Town’s ground drying machine.
Bryan Stewart, Chris Bivens and Lance Skelton are available for selection for the hosts.
Wolviston have defenders Andrew McGirr, Spencer Nicholson and Adam Johnson back, along with leading scorer Philip Otele.
Jae Wilson misses out through injury, but defender Robbie Gratton keeps his place in the squad, after a successful return at Cleator Moor last week from a seven-week absence with a knee injury.