Northern League: Graydon set for debut as Easington look to tie up FA Cup place for next season

Ryhope CW (red/white) track South Shields last week. Picture by Kevin Brady
Ryhope CW (red/white) track South Shields last week. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Ninth-placed Easington Colliery host on-form Whickham in Division Two tomorrow, with Luke Page returning from a two-game suspension.

The target for the final weeks is a top-eight finish, securing an FA Cup place next season.

Dylan Elliott is likely to make his second start, having signed on loan from Hartlepool United. Recent signing Lee Graydon could be given a debut and Dylan Nesbitt is likely to return.

Aidan Goodey is out with a hamstring injury, while Shane O’Brien remains out with a long-term injury.

Durham City host second-top Stockton Town at Consett, looking to build on last week’s win at Billingham Town.

Stockton welcome back captain Adam Nicholson from his leg injury, but defender Matthew Garbutt is away.

Stockton have installed their new seated stand, taking the ground up to Division One standard, ahead of their weekend inspection.

Bottom club Esh Winning, two points adrift with only four games left, face a crucial clash at home to Northallerton.

Esh manager Tony Boakes said: “James Huntley is unavailable due to being on a stag do and Callum Boakes is missing due to work, plus Nicholas Marley and Scott Arnott are both out injured, but we should have Kai Hewitson available.

“We’re on a canny run at home at the moment. We want to try and keep that run going and get away from the bottom of the table. It will be a hard game against Northallerton.”

Second-bottom Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, desperate for survival points, welcome promotion-chasing Heaton Stannington, who are chasing an 11th straight win. Heaton have no injuries or suspensions and the squad is unchanged.

Third-top Billingham Synthonia, at home to Tow Law, have four players suspended, in Austin Johnston, Conor Winter, Nathan Mulligan and John Seaton.

However, Chay Liddle returns after missing last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Esh Winning.

Tow Law secretary Steve Moralee said: “We should have a full squad available, with Michael Allen returning. We’re expecting a tough game.”

Leaders Team Northumbria entertain Darlington RA, whose manager, Peter Mulcaster, said: “We’re hoping to have two new signings for the game, otherwise, we have a full squad available.

“It will be a tough game - they’re top of the league. Last time we played them, they were lucky to win, so we’re going there with a good attitude and will hopefully get the three points.”

Billingham Town look to have lost their promotion dream ahead of their trip to Alnwick Town.

Assistant manager Graham Popple said: “Craig Hutchinson has levelled the current top goalscorer for Billingham Town with 56 goals and needs one more to exceed it.

“Alnwick Town is a place we know well and we play well when we’re there. If we fight as I know we can do, it’s a winnable game.”

Alex Leeds should return in goal, while Lee Moore will have a fitness test .

Brandon United travel to Blyth Town, who are still aiming for fourth place and are determined, at the very least, to claim an FA Cup place with a top-eight spot.

Goalkeepers Mathew Crook and David Robinson are out injured for Blyth, along with Dean Walker.

Wilf Constantine’s Crook Town travel to Hebburn Town with a fully fit squad.

Hebburn have Adam Rundle back, but Glen Hargrave is working. Chris Feasey is unlikely to play after coming off early in the last two games with a tight hamstring.

Hebburn boss Scott Oliver said: “Last Saturday (a 2-1 defeat at Brandon United) was hard to take and I still can’t believe we lost a game we were in control of in the first half.

“We need to pick the lads up as the Brandon result means it is unlikely we will qualify for the FA Cup.

“Words were said after the defeat in the dressing room but we must remember the lads are putting up with quite a bit at the moment. We can’t look past the next month, but nobody enjoyed last Saturday and I want to see the lads smiling again at full-time on Saturday.”