Northern League: We must start picking up points to ease relegation fears, admits Ryhope CW assistant boss Stu Gooden

Sunderland RCA (red/white) battle to victory against North Shields last weekend. Picture by Kevin Brady
Sunderland RCA (red/white) battle to victory against North Shields last weekend. Picture by Kevin Brady

Ryhope CW are desperate to turn their form around, starting with tomorrow’s crucial Division One clash at home to Newton Aycliffe (3pm kick-off).

The Wearsiders, with just one point secured from the last seven matches, are just two points above the drop zone.

Ryhope have 16 games still to play, with games in hand on all the teams around them, but the need for points is still a high priority.

Assistant manager Stuart Gooden said: “We know we’ve got to start picking up points, as we are near the relegation zone at the moment.

“We have a lot of games in hand to other teams, but we have to start picking up points.

“I am expecting a hard game this weekend, but we are going to give it a good go.

“Hopefully people coming back from long term injury, will put us at an advantage.”

Kyle Davis and David Gordon will be having fitness tests as they bid to return after long-term injuries,

James Ellis and Jake Winship are back in the squad, but Chris Wallace and Michael Rae are missing.

Aycliffe are 16th, five points above Ryhope, having played three games more. Ryhope lost 2-1 away to tomorrow’s opponents back in October.

Seaham Red Star, down to 14th place and only eight points above the relegation zone, head to Whitley Bay, who are searching for a new manager after the midweek departure of Marc Nash and his team of coaches.

New Red Star boss Craig Lynch saw positives in his first game in charge, a 3-1 defeat to Team Northumbria last week.

Lynch said: “It was not the start I hoped for, but, at the end of the day, what I said to the lads was that we created chances for both teams.

“We created chances for ourselves but then we created chances for the opposition, which is one thing we need to cut out.

“As I said to them, mistakes are going to happen for everyone, but the mistakes we’re making at the minute can be easily resolved.”

Red Star have Callum Munro returning from suspension, but Liam Hodgson is unavailable.

Is it too late for Washington, as they are 13 points adrift of the safety mark?

With only 10 matches left in their season, they entertain Ashington at the Nissan Sports Complex and are without long -term injury victim Corey Barnes, with a dislocated shoulder.

However, the Mechanics welcome back captain Alex White and there will be a late fitness test for Callum Dent.

The visiting Colliers have striker Dale Pearson unavailable, but skipper Craig Scott returns to the squad.

Eighth-placed Sunderland RCA have no match this weekend, but they will be back in action away to Whitley Bay on Tuesday.

Second-top Consett welcome Newcastle Benfield to the Belle View Stadium, with both sides having won four of their last six games.

Consett manager Mark Eccles said: “Ryan McKinnon, Dan Hawkins, Calvin Smith, Matty Slocombe and Josh Gray are all out injured.

“It will be a tough game with those players out injured and no other lads coming back in to replace them, but it will give lads who have been on the fringe a chance to get a start.”

West Auckland, up to third after hitting 12 goals in their last two games, face a difficult task at Dunston UTS.

Dunston definitely miss David Hiftle and have doubts over Niall Harrison, Ben Pollock, Dale Burrell. However, Dan Lowther and Kelvin Thear are available again.

Shildon, in sixth despite just one win in their last five league games, are at home to fourth-bottom Penrith, who are just a point above the drop zone.

Third-bottom Jarrow Roofing visit North Shields, who will have Marc Nash in charge for the first time. Nash left Whitley Bay this week to replace Brian Smith at the Robins.

Roofing miss Chris Winn, Shaun Vipond, Iulian Petrache and Davey Palme, while Lewis Walton is a doubt. Olly Martin returns.

Roofing supremo Richie McLoughlin said: “If the lads play as well as they did at Consett (in Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat), then what more could we ask of them?

“They gave their all for the club and had more clear chances to win the game, which gives heart to take into Saturday’s match.”

Morpeth Town, beaten in three of their last four league games, but still 16 points clear at the top, visit Bishop Auckland, while Team Northumbria, unbeaten in their last six matches, with 18 goals scored, head to Guisborough.

Marske United travel to fifth-top Hellenic League side Bracknell Town in the Buildbase FA Vase quarter-finals tomorrow.

The Seasiders have just one injury concern, with left-back Matthew Bell definitely out injured.

Manager Carl Jarrett said: “We know it is going to be a tricky game. But I have every confidence in the way we play and I do think we will be difficult to beat, if we play to our best.

“If we turn up and play our game, we have a chance against anyone.

“The plastic pitch suits us. We train on one every week, so we’re all really looking forward to it.

“Fingers crossed, we can get to the semi-final.”

Stockton Town entertain another Hellenic League Premier outfit, ninth-placed Windsor