Ryhope CW’s Martin Swales vows: We won’t lose focus

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RYHOPE CW manager Martin Swales insists his players will keep their feet firmly on the ground despite powering ahead in Ebac Northern League Division Two.

The table-topping Wearsiders, with 54 goals scored already, entertain Thornaby tomorrow.

Swales said: “Yes, we’ve started quite well with 10 wins and only two defeats from our first 12 games. I know it’s an old cliché, but there is an awful long way to go and there’ll be a lot of twists and turns before the end of the season.

“I know we’ve been banging in the goals, but I wasn’t too happy at the number we were conceding.

“There has been improvement recently and we’ve kept a clean sheet in the last two matches and I hope we can do the same at home to Thornaby.”

Ryhope hope to include star marksman Chris Winn, who has been on trial with Hartlepool United.

“I signed Chris from Prudhoe Town,” said Swales. “Loads of clubs were after him following his scoring exploits in the Wearside League last season, but I managed to sell him what we are trying to do here.

“He has been terrific this season and we’ll just have to see how his trial at Hartlepool went on.”

Horden CW are much better placed than they were last season, even though they have an on-going goalkeeping problem.

Six players have donned the jersey this term and, with Steven Hubery unavailable at home to Crook Town tomorrow, Grant McIver is likely to take over.

Chester-le-Street new boy Calvin Gowland, signed from Seaham Red Star, is expected to figure at some stage at fifth-top Morpeth.

Former Lambton Street player David Henderson could also be involved, but Lewis Brown has been placed on the transfer list at his own request.

Seaham Red Star are in the top half ahead of the visit from Esh Winning.

Manager Mark Collingwood welcomes back keeper Shaun Newbrook after suspension, while Dan Olusoga, Adam Bell and Dean Patton are also available. Daniel Gray, though, is struggling after being injured last week.

Washington, disappointed at losing to Esh Winning on Wednesday, aim to bounce back at West Allotment Celtic. Manager Richie Latimer will hope to field a stronger line-up, while Celtic miss Liam Hudson and Stephen Little.

Kevin Dixon could be out of the Birtley Town side for three months after sustaining a broken wrist at work.

Andy Innes is another absentee at Alnwick Town but Dan Smith returns.

Birtley have appointed David Turner, the ex-Chester-le-Street player, as assistant to boss Scott Oliver.