SUNDERLAND RCA aim to take another step towards a mid-table finish when they line up against Billingham Synthonia in tonight’s STL Northern League First Division game at Meadow Park.
Before the start of the season, manager Neil Hixon’s brief was to keep the Wearsiders in the top flight after they gained promotion last May.
But following a poor start, RCA have come on leaps and bounds and are well clear of the relegation zone.
Although Wayne Henderson returns, Hixon will be without a couple of players. Richie Logan is working while Joe Walton picked up a hamstring injury on Saturday.
Bottom two sides Ryton and Esh Winning are in action. Ryton look certain to be relegated and third-from-basement West Allotment Celtic will hope to ease their drop fears when the sides line up at Kingsley Park.
Esh Winning host Ashington, desperate for three points in order to close the seven points’ lead enjoyed by Bishop Auckland, who are just outside the bottom three.
In Division Two, Seaham Red Star are fighting a rearguard action. They are only one place and four points above Brandon United, who are second from bottom.
Kevin Turns will undoubtedly find it difficult against on-song North Shields at the Daren Perrson Stadium.
The Robins boast a long unbeaten sequence and victory tonight will cement a third-top place as they attempt to return to the glory days when they were a force in the Northern League.
An interesting game is in prospect at Birtley Town. They entertain Team Northumbria who have climbed into fifth position to raise hopes that they might gain promotion to Division One.
Following their encouraging performance at table-topping Chester on Saturday where they led at one stage, Durham City should have an easier passage tonight.
Harrogate RA, fourth-from-bottom, are visitors to the Esh Group stadium with City just four points and two places above them in the bottom six.