Joseph handed debut as Horden need a win in the STL Northern League

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HORDEN CW desperately need to arrest their nine-match losing sequence at Brandon United tomorrow.

Boss Brian Honour, his side down in third bottom spot, will hand a debut to Michael Joseph, a former Horden man re-signed from Cargo Fleet.

Lloyd Evans is suspended, but Andrew Richardson could return after being sidelined for several weeks with a groin injury.

Honour said: “They are second from the basement, so it’s a crucial game for both teams.

“We’ve had several poor results, but it is testament to the players that at least 20 continue to turn up, week-in, week-out. They are all fantastic.”

Chester-le-Street have had a number of enquiries about the manager’s role which will become vacant at the end of the season following Stuart Sherwood’s decision to leave after more than a decade in charge.

Sherwood misses Robbie Draper at home to Washington, now under the control of Dave Smith following David Lee’s resignation.

The Newtowners have slipped to fifth-bottom spot, but, despite losing, gave an encouraging performance against high-flying Guisborough in midweek.

Birtley Town are comfortably placed in the top half and will feel they are in with a chance of making further progress at Crook Town.

Runaway leaders Newton Aycliffe go to fourth-top Team Northumbria, while third-placed North Shields, unbeaten in 20 games, must do without regulars Andy Hay, Paul Watson, Andrew Wright, Stephen Robinson and James Luccock at home to Whitehaven.

In Division One, Sunderland RCA boss Neil Hixon hopes his side can bounce back at Bedlington Terriers, following their midweek 3-0 defeat at Consett.

Scott Richards, Keith Graydon and Wayne Henderson all hope to make the squad to face a Terriers side missing the suspended Elliott Henderson. Doubts surround Andrew Dugdale and Anthony Chapman, but Alex Benjamin should be fit.

Leaders Shildon, beaten twice in succession, could again find it difficult at on-song West Allotment Celtic, who have won three on the trot without conceding a goal.

The match of the day sees Newcastle Benfield hosting Whitley Bay, who have won 11 games in a row.

Benfield have Shaun Bell suspended, while Phil Lumsden is doubtful. Bay are also still in the championship hunt, and boss Ian Chandler said: “It would be great to go back to Wembley for a third consecutive season (in the FA Vase) but I want the lads to put the Poole games on the back burner for now and concentrate on winning the title.”

Title favourites Spennymoor, at home to Billingham Synthonia, delay announcing their side.

Synners miss Danny Newby, but centre-half Tommy Marron returns.