by Malcolm Pratt
BEFORE Wednesday, Ryhope CW were probably relaxed at the prospect of visiting Prudhoe Town tomorrow, but all that changed when the West Tyne club surprisingly defeated title-chasing Easington Colliery.
That result puts the destination of the championship into Ryhope’s hands but they will be wary that lowly Prudhoe don’t enjoy another giant killing act at Kimberley Park.
Ryhope manager Martin Swales welcomes back David Newby, but Jordan Thompson is suspended while James Dunn will need a late fitness check. Prudhoe could name an unchanged starting line-up, but Kevin Dixon, free from suspension, is added to the squad.
Although Easington remain level on points with Ryhope, the Wearsiders have a game in hand and a superior goal difference.
The Colliers need an immediate return to winning form at Stockton Town, where boss Andy Colledge will be able to field a much stronger side.
Chris Tarn, Niki Lawson, Simon Todd and Chris Hall all return for Easington, but Darren George is banned.
Stockton have a number of injury concerns over Tom Hinchley, Reece Connolly, Scott Meehan and Mattie Hyson.
It is virtually a two-horse race for the title, but New Marske have not given up hope. They need three points against Kirkbymoorside to stay in the race.
Ashbrooke Belford House, aiming to consolidate a top-half finish, visit Redcar Athletic where manager Tommy Dobbing welcomes back David Wells and Lewis Hutchinson.
There is also a chance that Martin Deacon could return after being sidelined for several weeks.
Redcar have Craig Skelton and Chris Marley back, but Jamie Lee is a definite non-starter.
Jarrow are ending the season on a high and could go fourth if they win at Windscale, where manager Dave Bell definitely misses Liam Clarke and Jonathon Matthews.
In addition, he will need fitness checks on Christie Elliott and Daryl Donnelly, but Dean Patton returns to the squad.
Hartlepool could name an unchanged starting line-up at home to Annfield Plain.
Coxhoe Athletic look likely to be wooden spoonists and, at Wolviston, they are again missing Christian Schofield and David Curry. Wolviston hand a debut to Richard Cook, who has been playing in the Teesside League.
H Ryhope CW will host Easington Colliery in Monday’s Shipowners Cup final (1.30pm). It promises to be a cracking final.