Furness hopes to steady ship

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NEW Durham City boss Adam Furness says his first task is to stabilise the club.

“After coming down from the Evo Stik League at the end of last season, I feel we need to level things out before hopefully going forward again,” he said.

“It’s been a couple of years since I was last involved in the Ebac Northern League but since then I’ve obtained more experience as a coach and I’m delighted to take on this job.

“I definitely feel ready to step up and manage in Division One.”

It’s a big first game for Furness with Durham visiting Pickering Town in the first round of the FA Carlsberg Vase tomorrow.

Furness met the players for the first time at training last night and will finalise his line up before kick-off.

Spennymoor Town are also on their travels and after the way they demolished Bedlington Terriers in midweek, will be confident they can get a result at Bridlington Town.

Sunderland RCA boss Neil Hixon is still trying to strengthen his squad ahead of the visit from Bishop Auckland, who suffered a heavy defeat in their last game.

Jarrow Roofing are hopeful of causing an upset when they take on Norton and Stockton Ancients.

Manager Ritchie McLoughlin welcomes the inclusion of Michael Hedley and David Carson but Chris Goss is given only a 50-50 chance of playing.

Norton, who have slipped to fifth from bottom in Division One, are considerably strengthened with the availability of Carl Richards, Jack Proctor, Shaun Clark and goalkeeper Jim Provett.

In Division One, leaders Darlington 1883 have won 12 and lost just one of their opening 14 games and will be the first side to reach 50 goals if they score three against Ashington at Heritage Park.

And their chances are boosted since the Colliers cannot name Phil Bell, Josh Gray or Johnny Godsmark.

Newcastle Benfield will hand a first game to David Coulson and boss Perry Briggs also brings in Darren Timmons but both Mark Turnbull and Luke Gilhespy are doubtful against Billingham Town.

The Teessiders leaked seven goals last weekend and boss Carl Jarrett invited several players for training this week with a view to assess whether any could improve the squad.

Definitely out tomorrow is Danny O’Brien and Craig Norman is rated extremely doubtful but James Middlleton, Matthew Thomas and Stephen Flockett come into the squad.

Whitley Bay are up to seventh following a disappointing start and manager Ian Chandler is hoping to make it four wins on the bounce at the expense of Team Northumbria.

Although Craig McFarlane is sidelined, Chandler welcomes the availability of Paul Robinson, Lee Paul Scroggins and Ash Davies.

Dunston UTS’s form has also improved and for the visit of Marske United manager Billy Irwin adds Michael Robson, Stephen Goddard and Dale Burrell to the squad.