Wearside League: McVay, Crew quick to strengthen Silksworth CW

Silksworth CW's new management team of Willie Crew (left) and Michael McVay. Picture by Kevin Brady
Silksworth CW's new management team of Willie Crew (left) and Michael McVay. Picture by Kevin Brady
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There have been further changes at Silksworth CW following the appointment of Michael McVay as manager and Willie Crew as his assistant.

The pair, together with chairman Phil Tye, have quickly revamped the squad, with five players coming in and four going out.

Goalkeeper Graham Pickering, who spent a year in Australia, Adam Storey, Kieran Mitchell, David Donnelly and Andrew Place are all back in the fold.

Storey, formerly with Durham City, hit a hat-trick against Harton and Westoe last weekend, when Mitchell also impressed.

Anthony Philipson has joined Brandon United, while Dan Pearson and Chris Spence have also departed, with Anthony Lowerson back at Ryhope CW following the expiry of his loan agreement.

McVay, though, was pleased that Stephen Moody, who came in from Esh Winning, has agreed to stay and he rewarded the manager by scoring a brace last Saturday.

“It’s been a hectic few days. Chairman Phil Tye and the managerial team have worked tirelessly to change things and we are now looking forward to a successful end to the season,” declared deputy chairman David Steele.

Tomorrow, Silksworth are at Boldon CA, whose manager, Paul Mossa, is delighted to have leading scorer Adam Bell on his team sheet.

Another boost is the news that long-term injury victim James Pickering, who was sidelined with a broken shoulder, played 10 minutes last week and is expected to feature for a longer period tomorrow.

Adam Sharp and Shaun Bell are also back in full training and could be involved.

Ashbrooke Belford House face a daunting task at home to Stockton Town, who are gunning for a fourth consecutive championship.

Joint manager Asa Dobbing reports that Ashbrooke miss the suspended Adam Hopps and David Scott, who is injured.

The unavailability list will rise to five should Callum Hope, Kieron Stokoe and Michael Young fail fitness tests.

Fortunately, Mason Burton, Nathan Burrell and Shaun Petch are in contention for places in the starting line-up.

Stockton Town, who have applied for promotion to the Northern League, have Michael Arthur training again and their only other doubt is Max Craggs, who pulled a muscle in last week’s victory over Jarrow.

Leam Rangers travel to Jarrow, with skipper Nicki Langston and leading scorer Johnny Hirst both expected to start.

Jarrow could name Brodie Simpson, Lee Burrell and Mark Williams – three former Leam players.

Third-bottom Prudhoe Town have no selection concerns against visitors Harton and Westoe CW, who are likely to be at their strongest.

David Graham, Carl Evans and Darren Wann are included and the signs are looking positive for Shaun Heads, who is a slight doubt with a thigh strain.

Richmond Town have signed centre-half Lee Gray and, with Lee White, Anthony Harrison and Gary Hutchinson also available, visitors Annfield Plain could be in for a difficult match, even though they were boosted by a rare victory last weekend.

Sunderland West End are riding high, third-top with games in hand on Redcar Athletic and Stockton Town.

Anth Nelson’s team, decisive winners over Silksworth CW on Wednesday, turn their attentions to the preliminary round of the Wearside League Cup when they host Seaham Red Star Reserves at Ford Quarry.

The West End defence has proved difficult to penetrate in recent games and Brad Foster and Callum Hodgson are set to again form the heart of the defence.

Seaham have signed Nobby Atkinson from Horden CW and he goes straight into the squad which also includes fit-again tio Adam Wilson, Chris Blaney and Christian Wilkinson.

Neither Brandon Moran nor Adam Hepple can play, but official Dave Copeland is hoping to build on recent performances by upsetting the form book.

Murton, the only side yet to win, make the long journey into Cumbria for their fixture against fifth-top Cleator Moor Celtic in a first round tie.

Horden CW are at Coxhoe to face Spennymoor Town Reserves, where there have been managerial changes this week.

Manager Carl Beasley has become assistant to first-team boss Jason Ainsley and Paul Cooper takes over at the helm for the Reserves, with Dave Ross his number two.

Moors bring in Reece Kenney and Lee Moore, but Connor Dunlavey is injured.

Redcar Athletic will hope to make home advantage count against Whitehaven, but they have lost Lance Skelton for the remainder of the season after he broke a foot playing against Prudhoe.

Michael Woodhouse replaces him as club captain and he awaits news on the influential James Swann, who is rated very doubtful with an ankle injury.

Hartlepool visit Stockton West End with a place in the Durham County Trophy final up for grabs.

Pool’s only absentee is the ineligible Andy Blackburn, but Lee Jones could be a straight replacement in attack.