NEW Spennymoor boss Tony Lee has wasted no time in making his first signing and quickly vowed there are more to come.

Lee stunned the non-league scene in midweek by quitting Premier Division Bishop Auckland where he had been manager for eight years and moving just a few miles down the road to first division Spennymoor, who are battling against relegation.

Yesterday he signed goalkeeper Jim Provett from Hartlepool United. He was also hoping to sign Pool reserve team defender Joe Wear until injury scuppered the deal.

The teenager has moved on loan and Lee said: "It's a tremendous gesture from Chris Turner.''

So instead of facing Altrincham as Bishop Auckland's manager, he is in charge of Moors for one of their longest trips of the season, away to Matlock, needing three points to climb out of the bottom four.

"I know that I've moved straight into a relegation fight and that's something I've got to address," said Lee.

"The team needs at least six new players for the rest of the season, and hopefully I can bring them in as soon as possible.

"This club has loads of potential and the owner has some big plans. Hopefully, I can help the club bring them to fruition."

Lee will be without striker Lee Adamson, who has returned to his previous club Seaham Red Star.

Lee has yet to appoint a number two, but Jason Ainsley, who has been caretaker manager since Peter Quigley was sacked over a month ago, is in the running. Ainsley was at Bishops under Lee earlier in the season.

Lee added: "I've been at Bishops eight years and had some tremendous times. We have had one of the lowest budgets to work with and had a lot of success in the league and cup competitions.''

Bishops have appointed Tony Boylan as their caretaker manager, a position he held when Harry Dunn quit eight years ago.

"We're in no hurry to appoint a permanent manager," said chairman Tony Duffy.

"We'll take our time over it because Tony Boylan has done a good job as caretaker before."

And Duffy paid tribute to Lee. "He's performed miracles with a limited budget," he said.

Defender Mark Foster will be missing today, while midfielder Stephen Bell and defender Mark Salmon will both have fitness tests.

Whitby are at home to Vauxhall Motors and they will be without injured defender Richard Dunning, while striker Adam Marsh has returned to Darlington after his month's loan.

l The Wearside League match of the day between leaders Darlington RA and second-top New Marske is expected to attract the biggest gate of the season to Brinkburn Road, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

An open game is anticipated between two teams who play positive football and the outcome will be vital to the championship chances of both clubs.

"We have played the same number of games and there is only one point and one goal between us, so it could not be closer at the top," declared New Marske secretary Peter Livingstone, who reports that Gary Owens is still sidelined with a broken ankle.

RA manager David Woodcock had an unfortunate DIY accident yesterday but expects to be at the game. For the first time this season he has a full squad to choose from.

"I was at the ground yesterday morning and although there was some gale damage I expect the match to go ahead. We desperately want to play," said secretary Martyn Jackson.

Another fixture which could have a bearing on the race for the championship is between Birtley Town, who have won their last seven games, and North Shields.

The home side cannot call upon goalkeeper Stephen Harrison and manager David Smith is expected to make a stop-gap signing. Shields, who had a workout against a Darlington XI on Boxing Day, have Neil Hartley and Anthony Robson returning to the squad but recent signing Philip Walton is unavailable.

Wolviston will be stronger for the visit of Stanley United with Paul Roberts and Gary Crawford both resuming. Boss Graham Howard is hoping that Ian Perry will also be able to play