Northern League: Goal-crazy Ryhope CW relish chance to test themselves against champions Shildon

Washington (red) take on Guisborough in last week's goalless Division One draw. Picture by Tim Richardson
Washington (red) take on Guisborough in last week's goalless Division One draw. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Assistant manager Stuart Gooden wants Ryhope CW to repeat last week’s efforts when they host defending First Division champions Shildon tomorrow.

Ryhope edged out Newcastle Benfield 4-3 in a thriller last Saturday, but know they face an even harder task against the Railwaymen.

Gooden said: “We were very pleased with our performance last weekend - it was a very good performance against a good Newcastle Benfield side.

“We’re playing the champions, so it’s a massive game. Shildon need to win every game, so we’re expecting a tough one. We’re looking forward to it, it’s good to test ourselves against tough sides.

“Our form has been good lately so we’ll be going into the game with confidence, but the players will need to give 100% to get any kind of result against them.

“Callum Munro and Danni Lay made their debuts last Saturday. we’re very pleased with their performance and hope they continue on for the rest of the season.”

Stephen Francis (hamstring), Simon Ord and Matty Weirs (both ankle) are out injured, but David Gordon, Elliott Woods and Josh Home-Jackson return. Nathan O’Neill and Kyle Davis will be given fitness tests.

Third-top Shildon are likely to only miss the injured Amar Purewal.

Vice-chairman Jeff Ridley said: “We have a new manager, Daniel (Bobby) Moore and ex-Middlesbrough player Mick Barron will be coming in as assistant manager. He was at Hartlepool for 18 years, was captain and played just short of 450 games for them.

“We’re favourites to win, but we are taking nothing for granted.”

Sunderland RCA boss Martin Swales anticipates a testing afternoon away to fourth-top Morpeth Town.

Swales, whose side drew 2-2 at home to Morpeth in August, said: “It will be a tough game against one of the top sides in the league. We drew last year, but Morpeth’s always a tough place to go.”

Ross Preston, Colin Larkin and Clayton Davis are still out injured and James Armstrong will be unavailable with his injury. Greg Swansbury, Liam McBryde and Neal Bussey all face fitness tests.

But RCA have 17-year old Brad Wilson available again.

Seaham Red Star, in ninth, host relegation-threatened Jarrow Roofing.

Red Star’s Andy Johnson is struggling to shake off a thigh strain suffered in last weekend’s defeat at Marske and Liam Hodgson is unavailable.

But Ryan Burton and Richie Goodman are in contention for starting places and Lewis Graham could be promoted from the reserve side, following his move from Darlington RA.

Striker Craig Lynch is also expected to return after missing last week.

Joint manager Paul Johnson said: “Despite the recent run of defeats, I am pleased with the performances. The last 15 minutes have been costly due to running with so many injuries and absentees.”

Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin said: “Our only doubt is Brad Varga, who has an injury. Jamie Marshall and Arjun Purewal should be returning.

“It will be a hard game, a tricky job and a big match for both teams - we’ll both be looking to win.”

Washington, with three wins and a draw in their last six outings, helping them move clear of the relegation zone, welcome in-form Marske United to Nissan.

New bosses James Clark and Michael Laws will look to find the clinical finish which deserted the Mechanics in last week’s 0-0 draw with Guisborough.

West Auckland travel to Dunston UTS, who are just four points better off.

West official Cliff Alderson said: “Darren Richardson will be having a fitness test and Kerry Hedley is suspended. We’ve had a couple of good results but lost to a good South Shields team last weekend.

“Both teams are down at wrong end of table so it will be an important game for us and Dunston.”

Dunston have Scott Heslop returning after injury, but they have injury concerns over Michael Pearson, Dan Capewell and Michael Tait. James Luccock has joined leaders North Shields and Andy Clark is unavailable.

Bottom club Chester-le-Street face a daunting task away to South Shields, who are aiming for an 18th successive victory.

The Cestrians have a few players missing with injuries. Kieran Megran, Daniel Hepplewhite, Daniel McGuire, Chris Pearson, and Michael Graver are all out, while Logan Powell has left the club to join Alnwick Town.

Jack Honour and David Latham are, however, available and in the squad.

Shields secretary Philip Reay said: “We will be without Gavin Cogdon and Andrew Stephenson who are out for another week or two with injuries. We are looking to get the three points as we continue to try and stay in the top three, while we look for promotion at the end of season.”

Seventh-placed Consett host Newton Aycliffe and Bishop Auckland, in sixth place, look to get back to winning ways at home to Newcastle Benfield.

Two Blues secretary David Strong said: “Benfield are always a strong team, and hard to play against. It should be a good, competitive game and we are looking forward to it.”

Second-bottom West Allotment Celtic, boosted by last week’s win over Chester-le-Street, have Liam Hudson and Marcus Brown back to host Penrith.