SUNDERLAND RCA manager Neil Hixon has been a busy man.
On Tuesday night, he took in the Ashington v Spennymoor Town game at Woodhorn Lane and has also been active on the transfer front.
He has signed Ian Dixon from Bishop Auckland, and he goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s STL Northern League First Division fixture against Consett at Meadow Park.
Hixon said: “I’ve been looking to add experience and Ian fits the bill perfectly.
“He played for Whitley Bay in the FA Carlsberg Vase final and has also been with Spennymoor Town and Bedlington Terriers, so he’s got bags of experience.”
Hixon has also submitted seven days’ notice to Whitby Town for striker Lee Ure as he attempts to strengthen the squad as they push for promotion to the Evo Stik League, Division One North.
Secretary Colin Wilson explained: “We need to end in the top two and carry out some improvements to the ground before the March 31 deadline.
“Meeting the criteria won’t be a problem but on the field we’ve got to push for the top two places.”
Tomorrow, Consett arrive on Wearside having won their last two games following an indifferent spell which saw them slip into the bottom six.
Manager Kenny Lindoe reckons that being without so many players for one reason or another was the cause of the Steelmen’s slide.
“Not many clubs would get along without eight regulars but hopefully we’ve come through that,” said Lindoe, who is pleased with the form of youngsters Matty Slocombe and Jack Stanner.
The pair are named in tomorrow’s squad but Craig Robson is ruled out and Dale Burrell is a doubt.
West Auckland Town, who moved into pole position with a midweek victory, will be confident they can maintain the momentum at the expense of Jarrow Roofing who are third from the basement.
Roofing manager Ritchie McLoughlin includes centre half David Anderson and striker Liam Robertson but it looks as if the much travelled Alex Benjamin could be on his way out after only joining the club in December.
Whitley Bay are second, two points adrift of West Auckland and at home to Penrith boss Ian Chandler could rest Lee Paul Scroggins.
He said: “Lee has been troubled with injuries to both ankles. He played last week but I took him off once we went three goals up.”
A definite absentee against Penrith is Craig McFarlane with ankle injury. The Seahorses have won seven and drawn four of their last 11 games.
Ashington are buoyant going into their fixture at Newton Aycliffe.
Last Saturday they reached the last 16 of the FA Carlsberg Vase for the first time in their history and on Tuesday produced another splendid performance to overwhelm title contenders Spennymoor Town.
A big blow for the Colliers, however, is the absence of striker Jonny Godsmark and Darren Lough while Phil Bell will need a late check on his fitness.
South Shields could hand a debut to Adam Drysdale, signed from Seaham Red Star, at Norton and Stockton Ancients who have brought in Kieran Edwards and Paul Stephenson from Spennymoor Town and Sangha Indy from Stokesley SC. Nathan Mulligan has moved to Whitby Town.
H Two sides will be bidding to reach the last 16 of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
Dunston UTS are at home to Wisbech Town and the prize for the winners is a home game with Bethnal Green United.
Billingham Synthonia travel to Runcorn Town and the Teessiders will be at home to Bournmouth if they come through their replay.