Ryhope hoping to gather momentum

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RYHOPE CW hope tonight’s game at neighbours Horden CW goes ahead as they aim to maintain the momentum which has carried them to the top of the Ebac Northern League Second Division, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

Martin Swales’ side enjoy a five-point lead and have a 10-point cushion in the early-season fight for the three promotion places.

The Wearsiders take a weakened side to Welfare Park. John Butler and captain Phil Hall are banned while Dean Arkley, Richard Jordan and Chris Rookes are also ruled out.

Meanwhile, Stephen Moody joined Brandon United last week and rifled in a hat-trick on his debut.

“The move will give Stephen much-needed game time. It’s a permanent transfer since league rules don’t allow for a loan period, but we have a gentleman’s agreement that he can be transferred back,” said secretary Dougie Benison.

After conceding 12 goals in two games, Horden will be looking to keep back-to-back clean sheets following victory over Esh Winning at the weekend by the only goal.

The result lifted the Colliers to within a point of mid-table – a significant improvement on last season when they just avoided relegation because only one side successfuly applied for promotion.

Durham City face a particularly difficult task at first division leaders Darlington 1883, who have won eight and drawn one of their first nine games.

Manager Dickie Ord is trying to strengthen the squad and has submitted a seven days’ notice for a number of players, but he doesn’t expect anything to materialise before tonight’s kick-off.

Sunderland RCA boss Neil Hixon is also attempting to bring in newcomers, with a quintet of players missing at Shildon.

“In the last few days I’ve tried to sign a couple of players, but nothing will happen on this front and I’ll continue to look elsewhere,” reported Hixon.

H All last night’s scheduled matches were postponed because of waterlogged pitches.