Hixon hopes RCA adapt to the artificial pitch

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SUNDERLAND RCA manager Neil Hixon is anticipating a tough game on Durham City’s artificial surface tonight.

He said: “It’s a new ball game for us, but they play on it every other week. Hopefully we’ll quickly adapt and with a near full-strength squad to choose from I’m confident we’ll give them a good game.”

With Andy Appleby still suspended, Hixon will again go with Aristote Lakonga and Dale Jardine up front. Dave Southern is added to an 18-man squad after completing his ban.

Following the Board’s decision to step down from the Evo Stik League, Durham City lost several experienced players and boss Dickie Ord is having to field a young side.

The Citizens struggled in Saturday’s Ebac Northern League First Division game when they were hit for six at Bedlington Terriers and Ord, the former Sunderland defender will be looking for an improvement in his defence tonight.

Darlington 1883 are at Heritage Park for the second time in four days. On Saturday a sell-out crowd saw them defeat Bishop Auckland and tonight the Quakers entertain Marske United at their temporary headquarters.

In Division Two, Ryhope CW expect a good following at Whickham after they enjoyed a seven-goals romp, playing their first ever game in the Northern League at the weekend.

Chris Rookes and Richard Jordan can’t play but Phil Hall and James Dunn come into the thoughts of manager Martin Swales who will need to check on the fitness of Nathan Johnson, Michael Charlton and Michael Metcalfe.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake insists there is room for improvement following a disappointment performance on Saturday.

He said: “In the end, we managed a draw at Whitehaven so I was happy with the outcome but we need to play better at home to Washington tonight.”

The Cestrians have Adam Scope free from suspension and Stephen Buzzeo is also available.

Seaham Red Star host Jarrow Roofing, who were relegated last season. Birtley Town have made a good start and at home to Whitehaven, James Allsopp is their only injury concern.

H Team Northumbria made a winning start when they played their first ever home game in the Ebac Northern League First Division. They beat Dunston UTS, 2-0 after goals from John Sherlock and Dan Riley.