Former leaders aim to turn it round; WEARSIDE LEAGUE.
The Gurney Street crew went into the New Year on top of the table and pushing for silverware on four fronts.
But in a nightmare month they were dumped out of the North Riding County Cup by Richmond then lost in the Monkwearmouth Cup semi-final to Kirbymoorside in quick succession.
Then the former tabletoppers crashed 2-1 at home to Easington last week as their title rivals -who have ruthlessly cashed in their games in hand -opened a nine-point gap at the top.
Now New Marske must go to fourth-bottom Coxhoe in the League Cup and stop the rot after three damaging defeats on the spin.
Neighbours Redcar Athletic are also desperate to slam the brakes after a bleak start to the year as they travel to Annfield Plain.
Athletic also lost out in the Monkwearmouth Cup semis and have been knocked out of the League Cup while their promotion hopes -which depend on a top two finish -have faded after two league defeats on the bounce.
That left them in eighth and 10 points adrift of second-placed New Marske but with no room for error.
They may have long term absentees Craig Skelton and Greg Booth back but Andy Bell remains sidelined.
Stockton Town go to second-bottom Boldon aiming to continue their steady climb up the table.
The league new boys have found their feet after a sticky start that saw them flirt with the basement battlers.
But after a mid-season rebuilding they can now can now boast an impressive run of three straight victories against Houghton, Hartlepool and Prudhoe that have lifted them into mid-table.
Elsewhere Wolviston will be out to bounce straight back to winning ways as they travel to Kirkbymoorside.
The in-form Villagers went down 3-1 at Willington last time out, a result that brought to a juddering halt an impressive sequence of four consecutive victories that straddled the weather imposed winter break.
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|Publication:||Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)|
|Date:||Feb 4, 2011|
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