Northern League: Ryhope CW eager to bounce back as keeper Jonny Ball heads down under

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Second Division promotion hopefuls Ryhope CW look to get back to winning ways tomorrow without goalkeeper Jonny Ball, who has moved to Australia to play football.

Also out for the game at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion are David Gordon and captain Phil Hall, but recent signing Thomas Bott comes into the reckoning for Gary Pearson’s second-top men.

Despite losing twice in the last three games, South Shields still command a six-point lead going into their home fixture with Whickham.

Recently, the Mariners have transferred Paul Kane to Whitley Bay, while Andy Bulford, who was a regular scorer with Dunston UTS before joining Shields, has moved to Ashington.

Chester-le-Street host Hebburn and, following last week’s win at Ryhope CW, manager Colin Wake aims to keep the pressure on the leading pair.

Fourth-top Billingham Synthonia are also very much in the running and they go to sixth-placed Easington Colliery without Jordan Robinson, who has been released so he can play in Norway.

But Synners have signed Matthew Crust from Guisborough Town as they attempt to make an immediate return to the top flight.

Easington also have their eyes on one of their three promotion places and manager Paul Frame and assistant Craig Parkinson again keep faith with youth.

Youngsters Jack Devlin and Joe Kerridge have scored seven goals between them in two games and, tomorrow, 18-year old Bradley Varga, on loan from Hartlepool, goes straight into the squad.

Mark Robinson will be sidelined for some weeks and also missing are Brett Gillatt and Jordan Thompson, but Dan Martin, Shane O’Brien and Bryan Norton come in as the Colliers attempt to close in on the eight-point difference between themselves and third-top Chester-le-Street.