Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Article excerpt

IT'S not getting any easier for Newcastle Benfield boss Steve Bowey, who faces another potentially difficult game at Newton Aycliffe this afternoon with at least seven players out.

He said: "I've got six players either away at stag parties or weddings and another who is injured. I'm trying to boost the squad by making signings but whether I manage to bring anyone in before the game is uncertain."

Dean Walker, Mark Convery, Carl Patterson, Steve Baptist, Mark Turnbull and Chris Hardy are unavailable, as is injured striker Paul Brayson.

North Shields, with four wins and a draw from their last five games, visit leaders Shildon and second-top Morpeth Town are at Marske United. Manager Nick Gray, hoping to bring in one or two players to strengthen Morpeth's title challenge, said: "It will be tough at Marske, who are sixth, and a double blow for me is that injuries rule out Shaun Henderson and Chris Jewels."

Fourth-top Washington meet Sunderland RCA in the local derby at Meadow Park. Both teams have taken 14 points from the last six games and a close result is expected.

"A lot of my lads have got history with RCA, having played for them in the past. RCA will be right up for it but hopefully we can get all three points and continue to challenge for pole position," said Washington manager Steven Hutchinson.

Opposite number Martin Swales has worked wonders since he took charge towards the end of last year. In October the Wearsiders had only two points, but after engineering a relegation escape, Swales has maintained the momentum and the side is now in eighth position - its highest rating for a long time.

Although Adam Drysdale, James Armstrong and Jordan Harkess return, RCA miss Joe Hughes, Liam Hatch, Andrew Brown and Colin Larkin, who are all on the treatment table.

Ashington manager Stephen Harmison has also had his fair share of injuries to contend with, and in addition to having James Taylor, James Harmison and Josh Gray ruled out, he will need to assess the fitness of several players before kick-off at West Allotment Celtic. …

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