ASHINGTON’S Gareth Bainbridge has vowed to return to action despite breaking the same shoulder for the second time in 16 months.
He said: “I’m adamant I’m going to play again and wouldn’t dream of giving up.
“I can’t thank the medical staff at Billingham Town enough, the paramedics and staff at North Tees General Hospital. I was really looked after in my hour of need.”
Bainbridge is not Ashington’s only absentee at West Auckland Town this afternoon. Manager Gary Middleton also misses injured pair Josh Gray and David Molloy.
Whitley Bay have a score to settle with Bedlington Terriers in the local derby at Dr Pitt Welfare Park.
Manager Ian Chandler explained: “We’ve suffered a couple of hidings at their place in the last two seasons. It will be another tough one but we are playing well at the moment and hopefully we can gain a bit of revenge.”
The Seahorses miss Chris Reid, who is working temporarily in India, but Brian Smith and Callum Anderson return and Chandler is optimistic that Brad Brooking will come through a fitness test.
Terriers’ boss Keith Perry reckons it will be a close encounter. He said: “They are on a good run but we are fifth-top and only a point behind them so there is a lot for us to play for.”
A blow is the unavailability of Tony Shandran and Paul Brayson is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury last weekend.
Newcastle Benfield could face Patrick McClean, brother of Sunderland star James, when Sunderland RCA visit the Sam Smiths ground.
McClean and Eugene Ferry, who played for Derry City, have been given international clearance following their move to Wearside.
“It’s taken a fortnight to get permission and they will be involved at some stage this afternoon,” said RCA manager Neil Hixon.
Consett welcome the return from suspension of Michael Pearson and Anthony Lund, while Liam O’Mahoney, signed from Thornaby, will also come into the plans of manager Kenny Lindoe for the visit of Norton and Stockton Ancients, if he passes a fitness test.
Durham City’s squad is stretched at Team Northumbria where Craig Hindmarch, Ricky Fenwick, Paul Dixon and Adam Clough, brought in from Darlington 1883, are definite absentees.
Newcomer from Bishop Auckland Jordan Galloway is expected to play a part and boss Adam Furness welcomes the return of Steve Jones.
In Division Two, leaders Crook Town are at Birtley Town minus Craig Hughes who has joined Shildon. Birtley boss Scott Oliver is delighted to have long-term injury victims Luke Wilson and James Allsopp in the frame but Dan Smith is unavailable.
Second-top Ryhope CW cannot name Lenny French, Dean Arkley, Nathan O’Neill or Nathan Johnson at Whitehaven but manager Martin Swales includes Jack Lilley, on loan from Gateshead, and Jack Pounder, signed from Horden CW.
West Allotment Celtic, now in the top half of the table, will attempt to make further progress at the expense of Chester-le-Street who have Gary Turton and Michael Graver banned.
North Shields aim to rekindle their promotion prospects after losing their unbeaten run when Brandon United visit the Daren Persson stadium.
Manager Graham Fenton though is forced to go without captain Dan Patterson, Dean Holmes, Michael McKeown and Kieran Wrightson.
DUNSTON UTS will make a fourth attempt to play their FA Carlsberg Vase fourth-round tie at Tunbridge Wells. Manager Billy Irwin took a full-strength squad to Kent yesterday. Spennymoor Town are at home to Bemerton Heath Harlequins and Shildon are also through to the fifth round, at Brantham Athletic, conquerors of Whitley Bay.