Hall, Weirs hold key as Ryhope face tough trip

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RYHOPE CW await news on club captain Phil Hall and Mattie Weirs ahead of tomorrow’s Second Division trip to Northallerton Town.

Both will undergo late checks on their fitness, but Jack Pounder, Martin Metcalfe and Stephen Oakley return for Gary Pearson’s men, who aim to make amends for the midweek defeat at home to Chester-le-Street.

 Washington delay announcing their squad for the top-five clash at Heaton Stannington, who have come up on the rails in recent weeks.

Jonathan Wright has left the club. He was a prolific scorer last season and had a short spell with Jarrow Roofing this time before returning to the Stann.

Leaders Seaham Red Star will aim to make it 17 wins on the bounce and stretch an unbeaten record to 20 matches, but they could find it difficult at third-top Team Northumbria.

“It’s going to be tough, but we are on song and I’m looking for another positive result,” said boss Mark Collingwood, who goes without the suspended Lewis Wing and Liam McBryde (hamstring).

He is expected to name 17-year-old striker Matthew Pennal, who looked pretty sharp in his debut game against Hebburn Town on Tuesday night.

“It’s not a loan deal, but although we’ve signed Matthew, Darlington 1883 have first call on him,” explained secretary David Copeland.

Another close result is on the cards when second-top Norton and Stockton Ancients take on Thornaby in a derby.

Manager Andy Campbell anticipates Nicky Martin and Dale Mulligan being fit, but Rocky Andrews is banned.

Mid-table Birtley Town have no selection concerns for their game at Willington, who miss keeper David Moffat because of work commitments.

Aidan Goodey (back) and Graham Lazonby (knee) are doubtful.

Chester-le-Street, aiming to build on a solid winning performance, are stronger with the inclusion of Craig Marron, Kevin Dixon, Danny Smart and Steven Telford for their trip down the A19 to Billingham Town.

The Teessiders are fifth-from-bottom, but manager Darren Trotter was pleased with his team’s display despite conceding an added-time winner to Heaton Stannington on Tuesday.

“In the previous game, we were well beaten and I demanded a response.

“I couldn’t have asked for more and they were gutted after the game,” said Trotter, who misses Michael Dalton and Tom Sweeney.