BILLINGHAM SYNTHONIA vs NEWTON AYCLIFFE
Central Avenue Stadium. Kick off 3pm.
By Paul McGeary
Allan Oliver must pick his threadbare squad up after four consecutive defeats as they travel to Teesside to take on a Billingham Synthonia side who are in something of an indifferent run of form, despite being earmarked as one of the pre-season dark horses.
Synners have former Newtonians Stephen Gibson and Kris Hughes in their ranks, while teenage Goalkeeper Joe Williamson turned down a move to the Newtonians in favour of the Teesside club having impressed whilst on trial during the summer.
Aycliffe had just 14 players available for Wednesday nights cup defeat at home to Norton, but can welcome Liam Clough back to their squad after work commitments ruled him out.
Oliver has been working on two new signings this week and hopes to include them in the dressing room, which is still reeling from the exit of Stuart Owen on Monday, and the absence of defenders John Close, James Oliver and striker Craig Mickle. All three are unavailable indefinitely, adding to Oliver’s headache.
Synners crushed West Allotment Celtic in midweek, with Hughes a scorer, while former Aycliffe youth forward Michael Sweet is the man in form, scoring a treble last weekend in the 5-3 defeat to Whitley Bay.
Tale of the tape
Key Man: Tom Atkinson
One to Watch: Michael Sweet
Familiar Faces: Stephen Gibson, Kris Hughes
Form Guide: Billingham Synthonia LWLWLW Newton Aycliffe LWLLLL
Last Season: 3-2