It has been a disappointing start to the season in more ways than one for Silksworth CW.
Not only have they lost all four league and cup games so far, but they are now having to play all games away from home because of a power failure affecting Silksworth Welfare Park.
“We are not sure how long it will take to restore the electricity supply, so we just have to get on with it, starting at Annfield Plain tomorrow,” revealed vice-chairman David Steele.
After losing six players during the summer, the Colliers initially struggled to bring in replacements, but they have recently signed goalkeeper Dan Hunter, Michael Brown and Kyle Connolly.
With manager Scott Cameron away, former Sunderland and Swansea City player Tommy Butler takes charge of the Silksworth side at Derwent Park, where he will be without captain Michael McVay, Michael Broom and Joe Clayton.
Butler, though, is hopeful that Michael Smith, Lee Jones and Dean Randall will have recovered fitness.
Annfield Plain, last season’s wooden spoonists, have started in better form and boss Keith Sheardown anticipates having a strong squad on duty. They got a boost from the 5-3 midweek win over Seaham Red Star Reserves.
Although Michael Bell, Jay McGough and Lewis Holland are sidelined, Jamie Leathard comes into the frame.
Sunderland West End boast the only 100 per cent record going into their game at Richmond Town, but manager Anth Nelson reports that Neal Bussey is an injury doubt and Chris Smith is on standby to deputise.
David Keithley has completed a five-atch ban and is included in the squad, along with Callum Hodgson and Luke Bell. The Wearsiders are four points adrift of leaders Redcar Athletic but have two games in hand.
Ashbrooke Belford House make the short journey to newcomers Murton and once again it’s all change for the Wearsiders.
Lee Owens, Dale Wells, Mark Green, Corey Steel, Kevin Humble, Shaun Petch and Adam Hopps will be competing for places in Belford’s staring line-up, but knee injuries sideline Dillon Holden and Lewis Hutchinson and work commitments prevent Nathan Burrell from playing.
There is a derby between Horden CW and Seaham Red Star Reserves.
Horden boss Keith Brown reckons he has got more players missing than available. “It’s very frustrating but we’ll get there and hopefully return to winning ways,” said Brown. With so many players out, he is pleased that Luke Naylor has completed his suspension.
Red Star have taken just one point from their opening five fixtures, conceding 21 times. Craig Garthwaite comes into the reckoning tomorrow, but Craig Hutchinson is considered doubtful.
Spennymoor Town Reserves are up to fourth ahead of their game at Leam Rangers, who were buoyed by defeating Horden CW in midweek.
Moors boss Carl Beasley reckons without injured quartet David Atkinson, Mitchell McKenna, Rhys Greenwood and Chris Baxter. In addition, James Leeds is suspended and Kai Willis is also unavailable.
Leam are much stronger with the inclusion of defenders David Stephenson, Joe Adams and Sean Wilkinson, but 16-year-old goalkeeper Connor Hawkins is a major doubt with an ankle injury.
Manager Peter Bryson is hoping to sign a replacement.
Hartlepool add Lee Jones, Joe Osbourne, Callum Wood, Jack Swales, Callum Hudson and Danny Butler to their team sheet for the visit of Jarrow.
Leaders Redcar Athletic will probably again miss the unfit Kieran Stares, while Robert Farrier and Matty Dunford are definite absentees at home to Boldon CA, whose manager Paul Mossa reports that centre-half Aaron Burn will be sidelined for five weeks with a sprained ankle sustained in the first four minutes of last Saturday’s defeat to Horden.
Prudhoe Town have Thomas Wanless injured but expect Ryan Chambers and Josh Brooks to face visitors Wolviston, who have strengthened their squad by signing goalkeeper Jason Batchelor and strikers Andrew Blackburn and Jared Jones.
Luke Bennington and Ian Danby are missing through work commitment, while James Zielinski has been advised to rest because of a shoulder injury.