Arngrove Northern League

SPENNYMOOR Town and Durham City meet for the second time in four days and manager Lee Collings is looking for a big improvement after Moors dumped his side out of the Newton Moor Durham Challenge Cup.

SPENNYMOOR Town and Durham City meet for the second time in four days and manager Lee Collings is looking for a big improvement after Moors dumped his side out of the Newton Moor Durham Challenge Cup.

Collings welcomes the return of Richard Smith, John Toft, Adam Johnston and Ian Davison. Tommy English and Lewis Dodds, however, are sidelined.

Second-top Consett were also beaten last weekend and at home to West Auckland Town are pleased to have Craig Robson and Mark Gaffney free from suspension.

Whitley Bay are in third position ahead of their game with bottom of the table Jarrow Roofing at Hillheads Park. Manager Ian Chandler misses the match preferring instead to watch next week’s FA Carlsberg Vase opponents Long Buckby in Northamptonshire. Steve Cuggy takes charge and the only absentee is the suspended Andy Dugdale.

An attractive fixture is in prospect at Sam Smiths Park where rejuvenated Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics take on title hopefuls Sunderland Nissan. Paddy Atkinson has led Benfield to two successive victories since he was appointed manager and the chances of a hat-trick are enhanced with the inclusion of Alu Bangura and Paul Buzzeo.

Nissan, unbeaten in five games, cannot call upon Kenny Pearson.

At the bottom, Bedlington Terriers face another difficult task at Dunston Federation but they have considerably strengthened their squad with the signing of former players Gareth McAlindon, Tony Shandran and Anth Lowery. The Fed have Michael Robson and Mark O’Bern back. Kane Young is serving a three-match ban.

Following a poor start to the season when they took just one point from eight games, Ashington are mid-table for the visit of Billingham Synthonia to Portland Park. Manager Andy Gowens welcomes the inclusion of Mark Cockburn, Gary Bailes and Michael Dickinson but Stephen Hutchinson and Robbie Cockburn are sidelined.

Morpeth Town go to second from basement Northallerton Town minus the injured Mark Grant.

Chester-le-Street’s only absentee against Shildon at Dean Street is the suspended Scott Emmerson while West Allotment Celtic host Seaham Red Star. The visitors, buoyant after defeating high-riding Consett last weekend, are at full strength while Celtic will also field a strong line-up as they attempt to move further away from the basement.

In Division Two, Birtley Town aim to return to winning form following a lean spell which has cost them the leadership. Tony Davison, who has previously played for Hartlepool, Gateshead and Chester-le-Street is set to make his debut at home to Esh Winning following his transfer from Morpeth Town. Regular goalkeeper Andy Mallinson could be out for up to two months.

A year ago, Prudhoe Town were struggling at the bottom but they are mid-table before the local derby at Team Northumbria. Chairman Chris Lowther reports that Prudhoe will be at full strength.

Sunderland RCA are home to Stokesley SC. Neil Hixon has added Newcastle Blue Star defender Shaun Davies to his squad.

MALCOLM PRATT

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