Sunderland West End fired up for third cup final of brilliant season

Sunderland West End (yellow) scrap against Silksworth CW in the TWR Shipowners' Charity Cup Final.
Sunderland West End (yellow) scrap against Silksworth CW in the TWR Shipowners' Charity Cup Final.

Sunderland West End hope to complete a cup double to end the TWR Bifolds Wearside League season tonight.

The Ford Quarry men have enjoyed a superb campaign, securing their best ever league finish and reaching three cup finals.

Joint managers Anthony Nelson and Barry Cook led West End to 20 wins in their 32 league matches to finish in third place, with 105 goals scored.

They suffered heartache with a shoot-out defeat to Leam Rangers after a goalless draw in the final of the prestigious Durham Challenge Cup.

But West End made amends with a hard-earned 2-0 victory over city neighbours Silksworth CW to lift the TWR Shipowners’ Cup.

Now they hope to make it two final wins out of three, hosting Wolviston in the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup final at Ford Quarry this evening, with a 7pm kick-off.

Joint manager Nelson said: “We are without Brad Wilson, who misses the cup final due to attending a wedding. Jordon Cook looks likely to take Wilson’s place in midfield.

“Graeme Pickering will start in goal and Mark Robinson will likely start up front.

“James Cassidy, after some good recent performances, will hope to keep his place in the final.”

Nelson added: “Wolviston beat us last Saturday, but we also beat them in the league recently.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game, as they have some really good players and are doing well.

“We’re looking to win our second cup of the season, which would certainly end our season in style.”

Wolviston have full back Robbie Gratton returning from University and he will go straight into the squad.

The only player missing, due to a knee injury, is central defender Adam Johnston, otherwise the squad is at full strength.

Dangerous strikers Philip Otele and Junior Masandi are battling it out to become the Metcalfe Park club’s top scorer this season, with Philip on 23 and Junior on 22 goals.

At their recent annual club awards, Otele won a hat trick of trophies when claiming manager’s, supporters’ and players, player of the year awards.

* Northern League club Stockton Town face the biggest game in their history on Sunday when they meet free-scoring Hellenic League champions Thatcham Town in the Buildbase FA Vase Final at Wembley (12.15pm).

The Teessiders have one serious injury worry, with Max Craggs (cruciate) a big doubt.

Stockton boss Michael Dunwell said: “We are travelling down early the day before and staying in a nice hotel, with a pool, etc, so the lads can relax and try to take their minds off the game a bit.

“We will go the stadium early and soak up the atmosphere, have a walk around and get the feel of the place, and will enjoy every single minute of the occasion.”

Dunwell added: “We have had them watched twice by one of the scouts for Middlesbrough FC and he has kindly sent us a full dossier on their team, which we will go through with the players.”