Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arngrove Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arngrove Northern League

Article excerpt

Byline: MALCOLM PRATT

PADDY Atkinson will take charge of Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics for this afternoon's Arngrove Northern League First Division game with Chester-le-Street following the sudden departure of Paul Baker.

Baker's decision to leave Sam Smith's Park following the Boxing Day defeat at the hands of Morpeth Town came as a shock and Atkinson, who was his assistant, will be at the helm for the first time.

Baker said: "I didn't think all the players were playing for me. I was unhappy with one or two things and upset at our performance at Craik Park even though we lost by the only goal.

"I thought to myself, 'Where are we going and will we win anything,' and came to the conclusion that we wouldn't be successful this season." Chester-le-Street, beaten by the odd goal when they hosted leaders Durham City on Boxing Day, will check on the fitness of one or two players before making their final selection.

The match of the day is between Durham City and fourth-top Sunderland Nissan at the Archibalds Stadium. A blow to City is the news that Ian Dixon, recently signed from Spennymoor Town, has fractured a leg in training and could be out for the rest of the season. Manager Lee Collings goes into the crucial fixture also minus Richie Pitt, Shaun Bell and Jimmy Farrell, while Andy Bowes is a doubt.

Nissan, eight points adrift of Durham having played three games more, hope to make it third time lucky against their arch rivals. They have suffered 5-0 and 3-1 defeats at the hands of Durham but manager Wilf Constantine is confident that his team will give the leaders a good game. He said: "We are going well at the moment and it was good to see Gavin Cogden back scoring a couple of goals on Boxing Day. This is a massive game for us which we need to win, not only for us to stay in contention but also to open up the title race a little. …

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