Wearside League: West End journey into the unknown for County Trophy semi-final

Sunderland West End (red/white) take on Hebburn Town Reserves last weekend. Picture by Tim Richardson
Sunderland West End (red/white) take on Hebburn Town Reserves last weekend. Picture by Tim Richardson

Sunderland West End look to clinch a cup final place tomorrow, but they face a journey into the unknown.

The fifth-top Wearside League side visit Durham Alliance Combination League outfit West Auckland Tunns in the semi-final of the Durham County Trophy.

Joint manager Anthony Nelson said: “Jordon Cook will be into the starting line-up and Mark Catcheside comes back from a long-term injury.

“Anthony Ross looks to start up front, but James Cassidy will be ineligible as he is cup-tied.

“We hope to win our semi-final this weekend, but don’t know much about our opponents.

“We expect a tough game, but hope to progress through to the final, as I believe we are favourites to win the tie.”

In the other tie, Leam Rangers take their seven-match unbeaten run into their semi-final at Hartlepool.

Leam have Liam McVicar back from suspension, while Pool have goalkeeper Elliot Coils available again, along with defenders Keiron Campbell, Dean Cope and Patrick Mulvey.

Pool manager Terry Hill hopes that his men will be able to convert their chances better than in last week’s 2-2 draw with Harton and Westoe.

He said: “We also missed a penalty in a close, hard-fought game when they could have been three up inside the first 10 minutes.”

In the league, Silksworth CW face a difficult return to action when they visit Hebburn Rown Reserves, whose weekend home games are played on the 3G surface at Castle View Academy in Castletown (3pm kick-off).

Silksworth CW manager Andrew Stobbart, whose side had a blank weekend last Saturday, said: “We are really looking forward to testing ourselves against Hebburn Town Reserves.

“They are having an excellent season and are sitting top of the league for a reason.

“We go into the match as underdogs, but enjoy playing against the best teams in the league and the challenge that represents and I am sure our players feel the same.”

Stobbart added: “We appear to be getting a settled squad, with quality and more consistent numbers and recent additions have certainly boosted our options in all areas of the pitch.

“We again expect to have a good squad to select from and are pleased to welcome back striker Adam Storey after a spell at Brandon United.

“Josh Perry will have a late fitness test and Paul Muir continues a long absence through suspension, which has lengthened with each called-off fixture.”

The match of the day is third-top Boldon CA’s visit to fourth-placed Redcar Athletic.

Boldon go in to the game on a high, after thumping South Shields Reserves last weekend.

Manager Paul Mossa welcomes centre-backs Jonny Gage and Aaron Burn back in to the squad.

Forward Michael Young has returned to training to get some much-needed fitness, having been out with a suspension from his Sunday team.

Mossa will be looking for the same commitment as last week for their tough task.

Redcar defenders Luke Woodall and Chris Bivens, who both missed last week’s game through other commitments, look set to return, which should mean a full squad for manager Steve Connolly to choose from.

Coxhoe Athletic host Windscale, with both clubs in the bottom three.

Coxhoe secretary Paul Charlton said: “Captain Philip Best will be back in the team after missing last weekend, but Dan Rumney is still struggling with an injury and is likely to miss the game. Peter Brown is also doubtful.

“We could do with a win after last week’s poor performance.

“We had a young squad out, due to a shortage of players.

“Even though we were up against the bottom team in the league (Prudhoe Town), we were still beaten. We’re playing the team just above us this weekend and hope to bounce back with a win.”

Windscale defender Dan Morgan is a doubt for the trip due to work, while midfielders Matt Metcalf and Laurie Black are nursing calf and knee strains, but should be available.

Prudhoe Town journey to second-placed Cleator Moor Celtic, boosted by a third win of the season last weekend.

Chairman Steve Pringle said: “The team will be unchanged and Cleator Moor will be very hard opposition – they’re flying high in the league and we’re at the bottom end. It’s a long way to travel for not many points!”

Richmond Town welcome Stokesley and manager Jonathan Kellett misses Kalumn Holbrook, Joe Shields and Lewis Cocksdue to holidays.

Annfield Plain host Darlington Reserves.

In the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup, Harton and Westoe CW welcome Wolviston for a second round tie.

Manager David Crumbie is urging his squad to turn their recent good form into wins.

He said: “Liam Mulvain is cup-tied for this game and top scorer Daniel Sirrell is out with a groin injury, with fellow strikers Aaron Coulson and Cameron Kirkham also doubtful.

“Somebody will have to step up and score some goals. The mood in the camp is very good and I’m sure we will give a good account of ourselves.”

Wolviston manager Steve Cook has strengthened the squad by signing midfielder Alex Maphosa and winger Ross Brogan, and both will make their debuts tomorrow.

Goalkeeper Chris Davidson will have a pre-match test on his hand injury, with Spencer Nicholson standing by.