Wearside League: Sunderland West End ready for big challenge at Redcar in push for top-three finish

Wearside League Football between Sunderland West End (red/white) and Stokesley, played at Ford Quarry, Sunderland.
Wearside League Football between Sunderland West End (red/white) and Stokesley, played at Ford Quarry, Sunderland.
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Sunderland West End’s impressive run of form faces a huge challenge when they travel to title hopefuls Redcar Athletic in the match of the day.

West End climbed to fourth place with their 5-1 midweek defeat of Wolviston and are just seven points off third place, with four games in hand.

West End joint manager Anthony Nelson said: “We travel to Redcar without Kevin Gordon, Anthony Ross and Jamie Fryatt, but David Keithley is looking to make the starting line-up.

“Graeme Pickering will be back in goal after missing midweek.

“We hope to win, but our squad is depleted and not very strong.

“Redcar will be a hard team to beat, but we’ll give it our best shot. We can’t win the league now, but we’re still hoping for a top -three finish.”

Redcar have David Abel, Luke Woodall, Jack Simpson, Mitchell Morris, Jordan Kirk, Anthony Jones, Joshua Cooper and Andy Jennings all back in the squad, but wing-back Chris Bivens is doubtful.

Redcar are three points behind front-runners Cleator Moor Celtic but have two games in hand.

Seventh-placed Silksworth CW are away to fifth-top Boldon CA in an attractive clash.

Silksworth manager Andrew Stobbart said “With the exception of last weekend’s under-par performance at Wolviston, we are in very good shape for the final run of games in the league.

“We have had to rotate the squad due to the fixture build-up, which may have affected our last performance, but the entire squad has been playing well overall. We look forward to pitting our wits against a tough Boldon side.”

Boldon CA manager Paul Mossa wants 12 points from the remaining four games, beginning with Silksworth.

Mossa said: “It will be hard against Silksworth. We have centre back Aron Burn available, after missing the last game with work.

“Centre midfielder Paul Trosh got 20 minutes under his belt in the win over local rivals Harton and Westoe and Tom West is having treatment on his calf, an injury that has been given him trouble for some time.”

Hebburn Town Reserves, whose title chances were all but killed off by the midweek loss to Redcar, are favourites to get back to winning ways at second-bottom Stokesley SC.

Bottom club Coxhoe Athletic, seven points adrift at the bottom, host Darlington Reserves at Beechfield Park.

Hartlepool, in ninth, make the short trip to eighth-placed Wolviston, trailing by just a point.

Pool are on a high after an 8-0 defeat of Annfield Plain in midweek and an impressive display at table-toppers Cleator Moor Celtic last weekend.

Ssecretary John Ward said: “Paul Moss, Dean Cope, Ashley Clark, and Andy Blackburn, who missed the trip to Cumbria, are expected to return.

“Last week, Cleator Moor said it was the best and strongest team they had seen from our club this season. Despite losing 3-0, the difference was that they took their chances better than us.”

Wolviston miss goalkeeper Chris Davidson and club stalwart Andrew McGirr, who are both suspended.

Defenders Adam Johnston and Josh Chambers are out with work commitments, but full-back Jake Marron returns.

Annfield Plain, on a long losing streak going back to a cup victory on November 11, face a tough challenge when leaders Cleator Moor Celtic visit Derwent Park.

Plain slipped to third-bottom spot on goal difference following their 8-0 mauling at Hartlepool in midweek.

Leam Rangers, fresh from a fine midweek victory at Richmond Town, entertain Harton and Westoe CW, who squeezed home 3-2 against Stokesley on Wednesday.

Sixth-placed Richmond Town welcome Windscale.