Wearside League: Seven back as things look up for Murton at long last

Murton (red) take on Leam Rangers last week. Picture by Kevin Brady
Murton (red) take on Leam Rangers last week. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Murton have shipped goals galore, but will take heart from a vastly improved performance at Boldon CA on Wednesday night.

They took the South Tynesiders to extra time before going out of the Durham Challenge Cup to a single goal.

Tomorrow, Murton are back in Wearside League action when they host third-top Redcar Athletic.

So far, the East Durham side’s nine games have all ended in defeats, with 43 goals conceded, and they’ll have to reproduce Wednesday’s form if they are to take anything from Redcar.

Murton’s chances are boosted with the return of several players. Carl Thomas, Shaun Godfrey, Jamie Parker, Damien Potts, Haydn Pace, Lewis Wressell and Ryan Martin will be competing for places in the starting line-up along with recent signings Shaun Fletcher and Jordan Thompson.

With the two sides immediately above them on cup duty, Redcar have the chance to enhance their early season promotion challenge, but they will have to do so without injured goalkeeper James Fleming, who is set to be replaced by Liam Moores.

Seaham Red Star Reserves, who also joined the league this season, are just two places and five points better off than Murton going into their fixture at Prudhoe Town, who are sandwiched between the two teams, equal on points with Red Star.

Manager Don Naylor reports that he is hopeful of making two signings before kick-off.

Jamie Davis and Craig Hutchinson retain their places, but David Thompson is ruled out and Brandon Moran will need his fitness assessed before kick-off.

Horden CW travel to Richmond Town and manager Keith Brown has Max Stoker, Andrew Lonsdale, Mattie Smith, Luke Wilson and Ryan Brymer on his unavailability list.

Fortunately, Josh Allan, Evann Graham and Michael Pattison can make the journey.

Richmond bring in Tony Callaghan, Kalumn Holbrook and goalkeeper Adam Cunningham, but work commitments sideline Andrew Mackintosh and Anthony Harrison is a major doubt with a knee injury.

Ashbrooke Belford House welcome Harton and Westoe CW to Silksworth and once again it is all change.

Michael Young is suspended, Dale Wells injured, Lee Owens is away, while Jordan Birnie is working.

Goalkeeper Brett Wilson, David Scott and Stephen Holiday come into contention, but Marc Egglestone is an injury doubt.

Harton are without striker David Bulman, serving the first of a three-match ban, but Ben Cooper, Neil Crammon, Carl Evans, Darren Wann and Ricky Brown are named in a strong squad.

Boldon CA manager Paul Mossa hopes to have Jonny Gage and Arran Burn in his side at Leam Rangers, but striker Adam Sharp will undergo a fitness test on his ankle before kick-off.

Rangers, who have moved into fifth place, are stronger with the inclusion of Dan Miller and Nicki Langston, but Nathan Baddams is away.

Spennymoor Town Reserves have Gavin Brown free from suspension and Mitchell McKenna could also feature at Hartlepool, who will probably name their strongest line-up now that Luke Gate, Craig Wetherill, Terry Wilkinson, Calon Lloyd and Carl O’Sullivan come into the squad.

Four sides are involved in the preliminary round of the Durham Challenge Cup.

Stockton Town are at virtually full strength at home to Annfield Plain, who cannot call upon Warren Brown, Lewis Holland or Malik Kalimba.

Jarrow face a particularly tough assignment even though they have home advantage over Dunston UTS, who are fourth in the Ebac Northern League First Division.

The South Tynesiders rule out Mark Williams, but Brodie Simpson and Andrew Wilkinson come in.

Leaders Sunderland West End are also up against Northern League opposition, but stand a good chance of making progress at the expense of Birtley Town, who are third bottom in Division Two.

West End manager Anth Nelson reports that Barry Turton is sidelined, but Danny Martin is added to the team sheet which also includes David Keithley and George McCain. The Ford Quarry kick-off is 2.30pm.