Northern League: Frustrated Easington eager to get a crack at on-form Durham City

Easington Colliery (green) battle against Alnwick Town earlier this season.
Easington Colliery (green) battle against Alnwick Town earlier this season.

Easington Colliery travel to Willington to take on Durham City in Division Two tomorrow and have Chris Freeman returning to contention after injury.

James Connor, though, has left the club to join Darlington RA.

Following the break due to the weather, the Colliers should have a full squad to choose from.

Manager Craig Hughes said: “It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks with the postponements, but we’ll hopefully get a game on Saturday.

“It’ll be a very tough test against a Durham side who have found some very good form recently.”

Durham City manager Ollie Hotchkiss said: “Steve Malloy and Bradley Hird are back in the squad, while Ross Simpson will require a late fitness test.

“This will be a very tough game, as Easington are doing well and it is between two good teams trying to play it the right way.

“But if we turn up with desire and commitment, then hopefully the three points will be ours.”

Chester-le-Street welcome high-flying Blyth, with manager Colin Wake in reflective mood.

He said: “After the lengthy lay-off, we should have all previously injured players now back and available for selection, apart from Kevin Dixon, who is likely to be missing due to work commitments. Other than that, we should be at full strength.

“We go into the game full of confidence, after the little mini run that we find ourselves on. Hopefully the little break hasn’t stopped the momentum.”

Crook Town face Brandon United and have doubts over David Paul (back) and Ryan Coles (hamstring), however new signing Ethan Grayson goes straight into the squad to face his old team.

Brandon will be at full strength, with Andrew Brown and Glenn Donaldson, signed from Seaham Red Star and Darlington RA respectively, set to make their debuts.

United secretary Barry Ross said: “We are hopeful of making another three signings before the game. It’s a massive six-pointer, with both clubs fighting a relegation battle.”

Willington travel to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, who miss Harry Mitchell, Anthony Brown and Jack Stoddart.

Ryton manager Tony Fawcett said: “Having been inactive for some time now, this will be a very difficult game. Willington are flying at the moment and scoring goals for fun – they will no doubt want to gain revenge on our earlier win in the season.”

Tow Law Town, in third position, welcome fourth-top Heaton Stannington.

Secretary Steve Moralee said: “We should have a full squad available, as all the players are fit. We are hoping the weather lets us get a game in. We know it will be an important game.”

Esh Winning travel to Northallerton, with Chris Mordue and Matthew Allison missing due to work commitments, but Max Stoker and Mykel Summerson return from suspension.

Esh manager Tony Boakes said: “Northallerton Town away is always a tricky game. Both teams will be looking to pick up three points and this promises to be a competitive match.”

Hebburn Town host Billingham Town, with manager Scott Oliver saying: “We have injuries to Scott Wallace, David Coulson and Callum Smith and there are doubts as to whether Jack Donaghy and Craig Malley will be fit.

“We have a new signing from a club up in Scotland, Jack Sherlock, which we are hoping to complete in time for the match.

“It will be nice to get a game in, after the last few weeks. Obviously we want a win, but I fear the weather might cause us a problem.”

Youngster Donaghy has been handed a trial at Wolves.