RYHOPE CW can take another step towards the Wearside League championship and promotion to the STL Northern League when they line up against Ashbrooke Belford House in tonight’s Wearside derby.
Martin Swales’ side lifted the Sunderland Shipowners Cup on Monday with victory over arch rivals Redcar Athletic, but they will take nothing for granted, despite the fact that Ashbrooke are missing five players.
Boss Tommy Dobbing reports that Stephen Holliday, Paul Robertson, Mark Green, Jake Moan and Alan Young are all out.
Fortunately, captain Kenny Taylor, Kyle Anderson, Shaun Ross and Jack Lilley are able to play.
Ryhope CW also have selection problems, but they aren’t nearly so great as their opponents.
Swales cannot name goalkeeper Lennie French or Dean Arkley and awaits the news on the availability of Richard Jordan, Phil Hall and Nathan Johnson. Leam Cox and Shaun Petts come into contention.
Redcar, the only other side with a realistic chance of pipping Ryhope at the post, are without a game and a win for the Wearsiders would see them stretch their lead to seven points.
Sunderland West End are sixth ahead of their game at Cleator Moor Celtic.
Despite the long journey west, West End take a strong squad which inlcudes Jonathon Greener and young Adam McQuillan who could be given a start after impressing when introduced as a substitute in recent games.
At the other end of the table, Coxhoe Athletic host Annfield Plain. Abdoulie Tunkara is a definite absentee and Coxhoe will need to check on the fitness of Mark Watson and Neil Charlton before announcing their line up.
Hartlepool, at home to Jarrow, are minus Billy Thomas with a groin injury and Craig Thomas is doubtful but Steve Chapman and Jamie Davis return.