Washington eye another boost

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WASHINGTON, who were bottom of the Ebac Northern League Second Division at the end of September with just one point from 10 games, could move to seventh from the basement if they defeat South Shields at the Nissan Sports Complex tonight.

The Newtowners’ upturn in form coincided with the appointment of Stephen Hutchinson as manager and has seen them win five, draw one and lose only two of their last eight fixtures.

“We’ve taken 16 points from the last eight matches, scoring 24 goals and conceding 14 which is a vast improvement – but we have to keep up the momentum by taking all three points from South Shields tonight,” said Hutchinson, who revealed that he is hoping to make another couple of signings this week.

“I’m on the trail of two well-known lads and it’s possible the transfer of one of them could be concluded in time for tonight’s game. The other player is contracted so his move may take longer to complete,” added Hutchinson.

A blow though is the news that Paul Wardle will be out for a couple of weeks after having to have an operation on his mouth which was injured in the recent game with Jarrow Roofing.

Paul Kane, who played for South Shields, is struggling with an ankle injury and may not be able to line-up against his former club.

Chester-le-Street boss Colin Wake is looking for a positive response from his side against championship hopefuls West Allotment Celtic at Chester Moor Park.

“It’s an early chance to get back to winning ways after a poor performance on Saturday when our recent unbeaten sequence came to an end,” observed Wake, who will be without the injured Jake Stafford.

Seaham Red Star are also in a strong challenging position for one of the three promotion places and they will go fourth if they come out on top of Thornaby at Seaham Town Park.

In Division One, Sunderland RCA host Consett at Meadow Park. Manager David Lee was happy with his team’s defensive performance in the drawn game at Dunston UTS on Saturday but felt they could have won had they taken their first-half scoring opportunites.

“It was still a very good result. Not many sides go there and come away with something so I’ve got to be pleased. We were very strong and compact at the back and difficult to break down,” said Lee.

A definite absentee is Andrew Brown while Nathan Wilson will need his injured knee assessed before Lee can name his squad. Recently, the Wearsiders have transferred Andrew Spence to Newton Aycliffe and Lee Harrison to South Shields.

After scoring five times against second bottom Billingham Town on Saturday, Durham City will fancy their chances at Hebburn Town, who prop up the table with just two points from 18 games.

Spennymoor Town, surprisingly defeated by Whitley Bay at the week-end, will be anxious to bounce back at the expense of Marske United at the Brewery Field. Although they are six points adrift of leaders Shildon, Jason Ainsley’s side have four games in hand and the manager will be keen to make them count.

West Auckland Town, in fifth place, defend the only unbeaten record when they have home advantage over Penrith.