Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skilltrainingltd Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skilltrainingltd Northern League

Article excerpt

WITH Whitley Bay and Spennymoor Town leading the field by some distance, the outcome of today's clash between Newcastle Benfield and Bedlington Terriers is important to the two chasing clubs.

Benfield are in fifth position, three points ahead of their Tyneside rivals who have two games in hand.

Bedlington joint manager Tony Lowery said: "It will be a very difficult game. Benfield are one of the better teams and we need a win to keep us near the top."

Again, however, Terriers have injury problems with Richard Flynn and Colin Morton out.

In addition, doubts surround the availability of Steve Bowey, David Southern, Christian Graham and Anthony Chapman.

Lowery added: It has been like this from day one and we have never had a settled squad. It is a case of just getting by until more players are available."

His opposite number Paul Baker anticipates having two players return to his side.

Ali Henderson has been sidelined since the first game of the season but is now in full training - as is Mark Atkinson.

Stuart Morris has recovered from illness and goalkeeper Andy Grainger is optimistic he will pass a late fitness test. Should he fail, Colin Paxton will again deputise.

Baker said: "We have had our ups and downs, but following a disappointing performance at Hordon CW we bounced back to form last Saturday when six players scored at South Shields.

"The lads believe they are good enough but we have a lot to live up to after winning the double last season."

Whitley Bay are riding high, and with 12 wins and a draw boast the only unbeaten record going into the visit of Chester-le-Street. Following the midweek victory over South Shields, manager Ian Chandler delays announcing his squad, while inconsistent Chester-le-Street could have a newcomer in their line-up if international clearance is obtained.

Second-placed Spennymoor Town go to second-bottom Esh Winning confident they can keep the pressure on the Seahorses especially after racking up their 11th victory in midweek. …

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