Wade Associates Northern Alliance

THE League has given Alnwick Town a weekend off to allow them to prepare for Monday night’s visit of Newcastle United Reserves in the first round of the Northumberland Senior Cup.

THE League has given Alnwick Town a weekend off to allow them to prepare for Monday night’s visit of Newcastle United Reserves in the first round of the Northumberland Senior Cup.

Meanwhile, Alnwick’s Premier Division colleagues Walker Central are in Senior Cup action this afternoon, entertaining Northern League opponents Prudhoe Town.

Prudhoe won’t be able to take anything for granted at Monkchester where the Central are unbeaten in their seven starts so far this season, scoring nineteen goals in the process.

The main threat to the visitors will come from Walker’s front men Ian Dunn and Dave Thompson who have banged in 21 goals between them. Four more Premier Division sides are also chasing silverware today in the Cumberland Senior Cup. Harraby Catholic Club are at home to Alliance neighbours Penrith United, while Carlisle City are at Netherall and Northbank have home advantage against Hearts of Liddlesdale.

On the league front, Walker’s involvement in the County Cup could cost them pole position with Heddon poised to nudge them off the top. Manager Ian Thompson and assistants Stephen Close and Duncan Brown have transformed Heddon’s fortunes this season. And victory over Heaton Stannington at Bullocksteads would see their team back at the head of the table. Gillford Park are also hoping to improve their standing in the Premier Division and a win against Shankhouse at Northburn could allow the Cumbrians to replace Alnwick in third spot.

The Park have suffered only one defeat on their travels this term and striker Lee Otway has claimed half of their goals.

Shankhouse on the other hand have won only three of eight league games to date although the re-emergence of old favourites Graeme Craggs and Iain Cavanagh should perk them up.

The rest of the sides in league action this weekend are all out to gain a more respectable ranking in the current table. Mid-table rivals Ponteland United and Ashington Colliers meet at the Leisure Centre Ground and United could do with a lift after securing only two points in their last four outings.

Having won three games on the trot at home, Cramlington Town may just shade it against latest visitors Seaton Delaval to hoist themselves up a few more notches.

And Blyth Town have switched their home game against Newcastle University to the latter’s ground at Cochrane Park.

Meanwhile, at a meeting on Thursday night, the league’s management committee decided to recommend the termination of the membership of Premier Division outfit Gateshead Leam Rangers.

BILL GARDNER

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