League leaders next for Whitby Town

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Whitby Town travel to Evo-Stik League-leading Lancastrians Skelmersdale United on Saturday (Dec 13).

Skem are without a league win in six games however and lost 1-0 against Northern Premier newcomers Stourbridge, last weekend.

Blues boss Darren Williams will be without centre-half James King but hopes fellow defender Kev Burgess will be back in his place.

“Fingers crossed,” Williams told the Whitby Gazette.

“With Kev, we’ve wrapped him in cotton wool, we’ve kept him safe rather than using him.

“We’d like him in the side and it’s dragged on longer than expected. I think we’ve dealt with missing so many centre-halves well from the start of the season.

“Ibby Hassan’s filled in well there and Liam Shepherd has done a good job at right-back.”

The Seasiders are without veteran player-coach Lee Bullock (33), who is expected to be laid up until mid-January with a knee injury and will be missing on-loan Bradford City teenager James King for the trip west.

“We won’t have Kingy because they’ve got an important Youth Cup game on Monday,” said Williams.

“We’re hoping to get him back after that, we’ll have to see, we might have to bring a few back.

“It’s a tough place to go –they’re not a bad side – I think we’re good enough to beat them though.

“I look around the dressing room and I don’t think we’re going to struggle – we have everything, we’ve just been below par and haven’t produced what we can produce.”

King’s fellow Bantams loanee Lewis Clarkson (21) is a doubt with a chest infection, while 23-year-old midfielder Ross Gardner has gone to

Northern League Division One Billingham Synthonia to get some games under his belt.

Town met Skelmersdale back in August when goals in each half from Danny Mitchley and Tom Ince eased Tommy Lawson’s men to a 2-0 win at the Turnbull Ground.

A dramatic clash between the clubs last season saw the Seasiders sit 2-1 up with four minutes left, only to lose 4-2.

A supporters’ coach leaves the Turnbull at 9am on Saturday (Dec 13), bound for the West Lancashire College Stadium, with seats just £10 each.