Northern League: Ryhope CW forced into changes for derby game which could condemn Washington to relegation

Seaham Red Star (blue) keep the ball under pressure from Sunderland RCA in their recent clash. Picture by Kevin Brady
Seaham Red Star (blue) keep the ball under pressure from Sunderland RCA in their recent clash. Picture by Kevin Brady

Washington will sadly be relegated from the First Division if they lose tomorrow’s derby against on-song neighbours Ryhope CW and fourth-bottom Bishop Auckland pick up a point at home to North Shields.

The second-bottom Mechanics are 15 points from safety, with just six games to play.

Ryhope, not safe from the drop themselves, will look to make it five league victories on the trot, with 15 goals scored in the last four.

Ryhope manager Gary Pearson said: “David Gordon returns to the squad this week, after being out with an injury for three months.

“But Jake Winship, Chris Trewick and captain Kyle Davis are all out with ankle injuries and Danni Lay started his six-game suspension this week.”

Pearson added: “We need to pick up where we left off, winning four on the trot, but we are up against it with players out injured and suspensions.

“We will just have to see how it pans out on the day and hopefully we will enjoy the game.”

Sunderland RCA, with five wins in six games, have a very tough match on their hands, as they welcome in-form Newcastle Benfield to Meadow Park.

Manager Martin Swales said: “Our new signing from Bishop Auckland, goalkeeper Scott Pocklington, will make his home debut and Ross Preston returns back from holiday.

“We are on a good run at the moment, but so are Benfield. We expect a tough, but good game and hopefully we can keep our good form up and spoil Benfield’s good run and get the three points.”

Luke Richardson is out due to holiday, while a broken nose keeps out goalkeeper Keith Finch. Jonny Davis and Clayton Davis are both unavailable due to work commitments.

Seaham Red Star travel to Ashington, looking to build on last week’s 3-2 win over Jarrow Roofing.

Manager Craig Lynch said: “It was good to see the lads perform well last weekend against Roofing . Some of our play, particularly in the second half, was the best it’s been for months, yet, despite all the good work, we still kept Jarrow in the game, by gifting them two goals.

“In the last four games, we’ve conceded 12 goals and I believe we have gifted opponents 11 of them. When we stop doing that, we will be able to pick up the points our play deserves.”

Andy Johnson and Codie Howe return to Red Star’s squad, but Lee Chapman is suspended and Kieran Galbraith is injured.

Lynch has signed goalkeeper Decklan Greenwood from Washington and Jordan Greenwood, a former Sunderland youth player, who has been playing in America for the last three seasons.”

Ashington have Tony Stephenson and Jay Hornsby banned, while Luke Salmon is on holiday and Steve Bowey is out with a hamstring injury.

Consett, with just one win in their last five league games, journey to Shildon, who have signed Durham City striker Bradley Hird.

Consett manager Mark Eccles said: “David Dowson, Ryan McKinnon and Dan Hawkins are still missing. We will hopefully play a bit better than we have been doing.

“We have had two poor results down to poor performances, so I’m hoping the lads put in a better performance this week.”

West Auckland, in fourth place, will look to get back to winning ways when they visit third-bottom Jarrow Roofing.

The Roofers, beaten in four of their last five matches, are desperate for points to boost their survival challenge. Richie McLoughlin’s men are three points behind Bishop Auckland, with a game in hand.

Bottom club Billingham Synthonia, close to having relegation confirmed, host Newton Aycliffe and hope to get the game played.

Secretary Graham Craggs said: “For us, it is just about fulfilling fixtures rather than winning games at the moment. We have a lot of young kids and we are hoping to rebuild in the summer ready for next season.”

Dunston UTS head west to Penrith without James Martin, who has joined Newcastle Benfield, but Dan Lowther and Kelvin Thear should return to the starting line-up.

Manager Chris Swailes expects a very tough game.

Title chasers Marske United, away to Whitley Bay, have Leon Carling suspended for two games, having reached 10 bookings.

Andy Ramsbottom and Matthew Bell are injured and definitely out, while Reece Kelly is an injury doubt.

Elsewhere, leaders Morpeth Town entertain Guisborough and Team Northumbria are at home to FA Vase finalists Stockton Town.

All last night’s scheduled matches in league and cup were postponed because of waterlogged pitches.