Northern League: Washington back new management team of Clark and Laws

Josh Home-Jackson celebrates a Ryhope CW goal in last week's 4-4 thrilller against Whitley Bay. Picture by Tim Richardson
Josh Home-Jackson celebrates a Ryhope CW goal in last week's 4-4 thrilller against Whitley Bay. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Washington, with James Clark and Michael Laws now in charge, entertain Guisborough Town in a crucial relegation encounter in Division One.

The pair previously worked as assistant and player-coach under Richie Latimer, who has resigned due to work commitments after just six matches at the helm.

Secretary Barry Spendley said: “We have a full squad available and the new manager is expecting to sign a couple of new players before the game.

“It’s a big game. Guisborough are chasing us in the relegation battle. It’s a vital game and a win for us will be tremendous, so we are hoping for a good result.”

Mechanics chairman Derek Armstrong said of Clark and Laws: “I have been impressed by the professional attitude of both the lads, and their commitment to moving the club forward both on and off the pitch”.

Seaham Red Star travel to Marske United, a week after being thumped 4-0 at home by the Teessiders.

Red Star have a dilemma on selection, with several players out.

The injury list is long and they will be without Craig Lynch, Andy Johnston, Nicky Kane, Ryan Burton and David Scorer, plus Lee Hetherington is unavailable.

Seaham manager Chris McCabe said: “This is probably the worst period we have faced this season player wise.

“Six of my 16-man squad are ruled out, and some others are carrying knocks. We’re very disappointed to go out of the Challenge Cup in midweek, but, to be fair, the lads give it everything and some of them played although they weren’t fully fit.

“We are trying to bring players in for the trip to Marske.”

Ryhope CW entertain Newcastle Benfield, looking to maintain their impressive goalscoring run at home, with 24 in the last eight games in league and cup.

Assistant manager Stuart Gooden said: “Tom Bott returns from suspension and Joey Melvin is available, while Stephen Francis and Simon Ord will both have late fitness tests.

“Missing are Lee Chapman, with a hamstring injury, and Matty Weirs, with an ankle injury. Nathan O’Neill is also unavailable.

“We’re looking forward to it, we had a much better performance against Whitley Bay last weekend.

“We were 4-1 up with 24 minutes to go, so were disappointed to come away with just a point.

“We hope to make home advantage count again Newcastle Benfield – the team have been playing well at home so we are hoping to get a good result.

“They gave us a hammering away earlier in the season, but the team’s in a much better place now.”

Sunderland RCA, devastated by their FA Vase exit, return to league action at Ashington.

Manager Martin Swales said: “We’re going to try to get back to winning ways after a very, very disappointing weekend in the FA Vase. So just want to finish in the league on a high.”

Colin Larkin and Clayton Davis are out with groin injuries, while a calf problem has Ross Preston missing, but Adam McGuinness returns after being cup-tied.

Kevin Gordon and Liam McBryde are also back in the squad.

Ashington will give fitness tests to Ben Richardson and Paul Antony.

Official Brian Bennett said: “We’re looking forward to the game. RCA are coming up to our place after disappointingly going out in the FA Vase last weekend, so we don’t know how they’ll react.

“We’re stuck in the middle of this painful run of seven consecutive defeats, so the players will be looking to get out of it.”

Chester-le-Street will be under pressure to win their relegation battle at home to West Allotment Celtic, but they are struggling with a few players missing.

Manager Colin Wake said: “Mark Peck, Danny Hepplewhite, David Latham, Daniel McGuire, Aaron Reynolds, Jack Honour and Dominic Laws are all unavailable.

“But Lee Mole, Dan Bedding, Kieran Megran, and Logan Powell, all return to the squad.”

South Shields welcome West Auckland to Mariners Park looking to keep up their promotion push.

Ex-Newcastle reserve Darren Lough is their latest signing, and club secretary Philip Reay said: “He has been playing professional football in Iceland for the last few years. He made his debut in midweek, looked very composed and will provide competition for places.”

Louis Storey is available again after his broken leg, while Gavin Cogdon and David Foley face fitness tests.

Reay added: “We are now on a 15-game unbeaten run, and obviously want to keep that going for as long as possible.

“West Auckland will have a few familiar faces on their side - Lewis Galpin, Ibrahim Hassan and Andrew Brown all played for us last season - so we’re facing a few old boys.

Shildon, in third, host fourth-placed Morpeth Town, with Amar Purewal the only doubt, with a thigh problem.

Dunston UTS are away to Consett but miss Andy Clark, who is away on business, while James Luccock is likely to remain out injured.

Official Bill Montague said: “It will be a very tough match against Consett on their own pitch, but we are hopeful to get at least a point.”

Jarrow Roofing, at home to Newton Aycliffe, have a near full-strength squad to choose from. Full-back Jamie Marshall is set to return, while Adam Smith is set to be the only absentee. Winger Kris Hughes left the club on Tuesday.