Northern League: Smith back to bolster Easington for trip to Bedlington Terriers

Sunderland RCA (red/white) defend against Newcastle Benfield last week. Picture by Kevin Brady
Sunderland RCA (red/white) defend against Newcastle Benfield last week. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Shaun Smith should return to Easington Colliery’s squad for their Second Division visit to Bedlington Terriers tomorrow.

Shane O’Brien is also likely to feature as Easington look to build on their 4-2 midweek triumph against Crook Town.

Chris Freeman is expected to miss out, but loan signing Liam Cooke will be involved once again.

Joint manager Craig Hughes said: “It’s been a while since we’ve had a weekend game and I know the lads have been wanting one. I know they’ll go out there in search of a win.”

Bedlington impressively won 2-0 at Northallerton last night, with Jack Foalie firing a double.

Durham City journey to high-flying Hebburn Town for a tough test.

Craig Hennis should be back, but Steve Malloy and Sam Joyce are unavailable.

City manager Ollie Hotchkiss said: “We expect a very tough game against a top side, but if we can play well and work hard then we can achieve a positive result – but we must be at our very best.”

Last night, City led with a Callum Smith strike, but Ryton & Crawcrook Albion roared back to win 3-1.

Hebburn boss Scott Oliver said: “Durham are one of the six teams to beat us in the league this season and they beat fifth-placed Thornaby last Saturday.

“They have a good young squad and are capable of beating anyone on their day.

“We have a few injury niggles but nothing to serious. Hopefully the game is on and it has been over 2 months since we played a home game.”

Chester-le-Street travel to bottom club Alnwick Town.

Chester manager Colin Wake said: “We only have a few lads missing, these being Aaron Reynolds, who is holiday, and Sam Moore, who is injured.

“We are hoping to continue our good run of form against an improving Alnwick side, who are fighting against relegation.”

Crook Town, at home to Heaton Stannington, have doubts over captain Adam Comby and winger Daniel Smith, who picked up injuries in Tuesday’s defeat against Easington.

However, winger Daniel Johnston and midfielder Calum Johnston both return from injury.

Willington host Billingham Town at Hall Lane.

Chairman Richard Tremewan said: “We face a busy week, with four games in the next week and expect a tough game against Billingham Town.

“Hopefully the pitch will have recovered in time. It’s a complicated time, due to trying to fit in so many games.”

Visiting manager James Hunter said: “Unfortunately, Jack Connor and Steve Oakley are unavailable through work and Clayton McDonald will be missing through his ban.

“Mark Ward and Jamie Bellamy are still playing for their parent clubs in the Teesside League, so they will also be unavailable.

“On the plus side, Jason Blackburn, Glen Hargrave and Mark Dixon are all due to return from injury and will play a part on Saturday.”

Esh Winning welcome fifth-top Thornaby, while sixth-placed Tow Law Town have a massive task at third-top Northallerton Town.

Ryton & Crawcrook Albion welcome West Allotment Celtic and have a near full strength team to choose from. Only Philip Hodges and Anthony Brown are unavailable for selection.

Jarrow host Darlington RA, with Jordan Mellish, Kris Allen, Max Kirkham and Dean Martin returning.

The game of the day sees Blyth entertain promotion rivals Whickham in a top-three showdown.