Houghton Town looking to catch Easington Colliery in the Wearside League

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HOUGHTON Town face a particularly difficult task tomorrow at New Marske, who will sense that Easington Colliery can, after all, be pipped for the championship.

Until they were surprisingly defeated in midweek, the Colliers appeared invincible but with two games in hand, the Seasiders are still very much in contention for the championship.

They have injury doubts surrounding Danny Jones and Sean Mackin, while Houghton, who have slipped into the bottom six cannot name Simon Williamson, Billy Harrison or Ian McPherson. Fortunately, Ben Maddison and Wayne Harrison are available.

Following their three-goal defeat at the hands of Wolviston, Easington Colliery need to bounce back to form at Stockton Town. A blow for the Colliers is the news that Lee Smith will not play again this season but Chris Hall and Adam McGuinness are expected to make the squad.

Stockton are minus the suspended Scott Hine but David Johnson and Mick Waller are on stand-by.

Second-top Ryhope CW also lost on Wednesday and at Redcar Athletic welcome the return from suspension of Jim Dunn but Richard Jordan is banned. Manager Martin Swales will need to check on the fitness of John Butler and Martin Metcalfe.

Redcar, hoping to avenge a recent cup defeat by Ryhope CW, go without defender Liam Wood and Andrew Bell is given only a 50/50 chance of playing.

Ashbrooke Belford House are fourth ahead of their home fixture with Annfield Plain. Manager Tommy Dobbin cannot call upon David Scott or Ryan Steel but striker Peter Benson comes into his plans.

Wolviston, buoyant after inflicting a first defeat of the season on Easington Colliery, host Silksworth and manager Mark Summersgill is boosted at having a full strength squad to call upon.

Jarrow visit Kirkbymoorside, while Coxhoe Athletic have home advantage over Darlington Cleveland Bridge.

Andy Fox has resigned as manager of Hartlepool because of work commitments and former boss Tony Thomas has agreed to take over on a temporary basis.

Pools are at home to Prudhoe Town.