Northern League: Cestrians seek new signings ahead of tough Thornaby challenge

Ryhope CW (red) battle against Sunderland RCA in Division One last week. Picture by Kevin Brady
Ryhope CW (red) battle against Sunderland RCA in Division One last week. Picture by Kevin Brady

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake hopes to freshen up his squad ahead of tomorrow’s Second Division trip to Thornaby.

Wake said: “We are hoping to get a new signing on board by the weekend. We are looking for an improved performance as, over the last three games, we haven’t done ourselves justice, after a little mini-run saw us pull away from the bottom of the table.

“Possibly a little bit of complacency has set in, but changes will be made to the starting 11 to try to improve the performance.”

Durham City have no match and must wait until Tuesday to face Chester-le-Street at Willington.

Easington Colliery, beaten 5-0 by Consett in the Durham Challenge Cup last night, host Heaton Stannington. Jake Metcalf is expected to miss out through injury.

Tow Law Town, down to fifth but with games in hand, entertain Ryton & Crawcrook Albion and are eager to regain winning ways.

Secretary Steve Moralee said: “Adam Knowles is suspended, but Dave Mitchell returns from injury and new signing Damon Reaks is in the squad.”

Crook Town host second-top Blyth without centre-back Ryan Coles (broken ribs).

Matthew Stephenson needs a fitness test, while striker Kyle Morris (hamstring) is a doubt.

Boss Chris Lax said: “It’s a very tough game ahead against promotion hopefuls Blyth. We need to concentrate for 90 minutes and take any chances that come our way.”

Esh Winning welcome Billingham Town for what should be an entertaining game.

Nick Marley, Mathew Allison, Chris Mordue and Shaun Reay are back for Esh after missing the 2-2 midweek draw with Brandon.

Manager Tony Boakes said of Billingham: “They are a very good well organised side, but we will be looking to better our 1-1 draw earlier in the season against them.”

Billingham Town have Lee Moore and Mark Dixon coming back, however Reece Kenney and Jason Blackburn, impressive in last week’s win over Tow Law, miss out due to prior commitments.

Elliott Beddow is still unavailable and Lewis Shaw is rated 50/50. Jake Fenton and Krissy Summers are also missing.

Hebburn Town entertain Brandon United without Ross Toward, Iain Bickerstaff and Channon North.

Chris Feasey returns, while Jonny Wightman faces a fitness test. Stu Bramley replaces Toward at right-back.

Manager Scott Oliver said: “We’re fourth in the league and unbeaten in January, so are flying high at the moment. Although Brandon are down at the bottom, they have a new manager and have made some new signings, so it won’t be as easy as it looks on paper.

“We’re expecting a tough game.”

In-form Willington, only seven points off the promotion places, journey to Jarrow for a tough game.

Jarrow have Stevie Graham and Kris Allen returning and they will introduce new signing Liam McGill.

Jarrow manager Dave Bell said: “We know Willington are a tough side to play against, as in the earlier fixture they beat us 1-0.

“After our poor performance last week, Chris Hutchinson and I are looking for a reaction from our players.

“We now almost have our full squad back available, so it provides us with different options. But we know we cannot perform like we did last week where our final third play, particularly in the second half was poor.

“We have a hard-working group of players at Jarrow who are keen to learn, so we are confident we will see an improvement in our performance this week.”

Elsewhere, Darlington RA host West Allotment Celtic, leaders Northallerton welcome lowly Alnwick Town and third-top Whickham are at home to Bedlington Terriers.