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Northern League: Easington Colliery ready to shake off rustiness to find new momentum

Chester-le-Street take on Esh Winning (green) in Division Two earlier this season
Chester-le-Street take on Esh Winning (green) in Division Two earlier this season

Easington Colliery hope to shake off the rust enough to give high-flying visitors Tow Law Town a tough test in tomorrow’s attractive Second Division clash.

Colliers manager Craig Hughes said: “We’ve had almost a month off now, but we’ll be looking to rebuild some momentum.

“We should have a full-strength squad available, with the likes of Shane O’Brien and Chris Freeman hoping to return to the squad.”

Tow Law travel with a full squad with no injuries or suspensions.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake is looking for consistency from his team ahead of their home match with Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.

Danny Naylor is on holiday, while Danny and Michael Hepplewhite and Lee Mole have work commitments.

Wake said: “We have a good strong squad to select from, including Tom Iley. We hope to pick up where we left off in the league at the end of November, continue the excellent form we have created and get a good result and to go into the Christmas period, with a decent performance and hopefully the right result.”

Durham City travel to Darlington RA and manager Ollie Hotchkiss said: “Our squad will be pretty much the same - we’ve simply had no injuries, because we’ve had no games!

“Bradley Hird will be back from injury, Steven Malloy will be available and Jeremy Allen will have a late fitness test. Apart from that, we are fully functional.”

Hotchkiss added: “This will be a tough game for us, but, after our long, enforced break, we hope to pick up where we left off.

“The break came at a bad time for us, as we would have preferred to have kept the momentum going, but we have continued training throughout and our players are champing at the bit.

“We hope to take all three points.”

Esh Winning host Hebburn Town, with only Kai Hewitson missing, due to work commitments.

Esh manager Tony Boakes said: “It will be a hard game. They have beaten us twice in the league and cup this season, so we hope to avenge those defeats and take all three points.”

Hebburn miss injured pair David Coulson and Scott Wallace plus Craig Malley, while Ian Bickerstaff and Anth Myers face fitness tests after being unable to complete training this week.

Callum Smith returns from a broken rib, while boss Scott Oliver hopes that striker Dan Robinson is available after a bout of illness.

Hebburn are awaiting international clearance for new signing John Sherlock from Scottish Lowland League club Lothian Thistle.

Crook Town journey to Alnwick Town without keeper Callum Liddicott (tonsilitis) and centre-back Ryan Coles (work commitments).

New signings Ethan Graham and Kieran Day, both come in to consideration

Crook secretary Jonathon Hughes said: “Hopefully we will get a game on this weekend after all the postponements. We made one new signing last week, Kieran Day from Esh Winning, who is available for this weekend’s game.”

Jarrow have Max Kirkham still suspended for the visit to West Allotment Celtic, with Jak Quantrill and Josh Allan out injured. New signings Mick Watson and Alan Pegram join the squad.

Billingham Town welcome Bedlington Terriers, who hope to have Adam Smith and Chris Locke back.

Terriers secretary Keith Brown said: ““Billingham is a friendly place to play. We’re looking forward to the game, but it will be very strange without Barry Oliver, in the dugout, who has taken a step back.

“We wish Billingham well and hope they can keep moving forward, just not when we face them!”

There is one game tonight, with lowly Brandon United hosting fifth-top Whickham.

Brandon secretary Barry Ross said: “We have Craig Ruddy, Jack Patton, Jordan Lee, Andrew Brown and Glenn Donaldson all included in the squad and have no new suspensions.”

Whickham chairman Paul Taylor said: “We have a full squad to choose from, apart from David Clasper, who is injured, and Chad Collins, who is on holiday.

“Hopefully, if we win, we’ll go second in the league, which will set our Christmas off on a good note. We’ll then go into the second half of the season, with our sights set firmly set on promotion.”