IT WAS a shock when Ian Chandler quit after more than a decade with Whitley Bay, but he has taken the move to Durham City in his stride.
Ahead of tomorrow’s difficult Ebac Northern League First Division game at West Auckland, City are second top, equal on points with leaders Marske United.
“We’ve made a good start. In addition to three wins in the league, we also defeated Billingham Synthonia in the FA Cup, so, at this stage things, couldn’t be better,” enthused Sunderland-born Chandler.
A double blow is the absence of Stephen Stewart and Ross Wilkinson, who has been advised not to play for seven days after suffering a head injury.
Chandler, who is looking to improve his attacking options, will again name Callum Munro, while Glen Robson could also be involved at some stage.
Chandler confirmed that the club has had a bid for an experienced striker turned down. “The player wants to come, but we cannot get the deal done and I’m not sure what the outcome will be,” added Chandler.
West Auckland were rocked when manager Peter Dixon and his assistant Paul Foster resigned following last Saturday’s FA Cup success at Nelson.
“It was a great surprise. We’ve enjoyed five fantastic seasons with the pair, including two FA Carlsberg Vase finals, but we need to find replacements,” said official Cliff Alderson.
Anyone interested in taking the West job is asked to contact secretary Allen Bayles on 01388 833783 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunderland RCA boss David Lee is frustrated that his team have not managed a win yet, despite dominating for long periods in the four league and cup games they have played.
He said: “We have missed chances and made little errors which is frustrating. I’m not worried since I consider we have played well.”
The Wearsiders, who host Dunston UTS at Meadow Park tomorrow, miss Ross Preston and Callum Patton, who is in the middle of a month’s trial with a Swedish club.
Doubts surround the fitness of Danny Reay (hamstring) and Joe Hughes (knee), but Lewis Wood and Tony Coe are in contention for places.
After losing their opening two fixture, Dunston have won the last two. However, their chances of making it a hat-trick have been hit by the unavailability of Danny Craggs, Stephen Harrison and Johnny Wightman.
Jarrow Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin believes he has made a real find in ex-Kilmarnock man Peter Leven, who played 70 minutes on his debut.
“Peter was with MK Dons and looked top quality. I’m sure that when he is fully match fit he’ll be a great signing,” enthused McLoughlin, who cannot name Anth Myers, Corey Barnes or John Campbell at home to Shildon.
Consett manager Kenny Lindoe has fitness concerns for Josh Gray (groin) and Carl Piecha (ankle), while a definite absentee for the visit of Newton Aycliffe is the suspended Mattie Slocombe.