SUNDERLAND RCA boss Neil Hixon describes tomorrow’s STL Northern League First Division clash with Spennymoor Town as “massive” and is confident the Wearsiders can get their championship challenge back on course.
After watching his side return to winning form with the 4-3 victory against Durham City in the Durham Challenge Cup, he said: “Before Tuesday, we’d lost three consecutive matches which not only cost us pole position but also our place in the FA Carlsberg Vase.
“We were much better at Durham City and overall deserved our success.
“Hopefully, the performance and outcome will have given the lads confidence for tomorrow’s big game at Meadow Park.”
Hixon could have two newcomers in his line-up. Neil Atkinson’s transfer from Ryhope CW is expected to go though and he will replace injured goalkeeper Gary Hoggeth.
A deal has also been agreed with South Shields for the transfer of Alex Benjamin but nothing has yet been finalised.
Meanwhile, Chris Feasey’s proposed move from Newcastle Benfield is now uncertain with the player considering his options.
“We could have two lads in by tomorrow but Feasey’s transfer is up in the air” added Hixon who misses the suspended Ian Davidson while captain Carl Beasley will need a late fitness test.
Dunston UTS lead the table ahead of the visit from Bishop Auckland and they too miss their first choice stopper.
Liam Connell is awaiting a scan on his injured knee and Andy Clark will deputise.
Michael Dixon is also absent but Stephen Goddard returns as the Tynesiders aim to strengthen a three-point lead.
West Auckland Town, whose 14-match unbeaten record came to an end last weekend, are second and they will be confident of a winning result at Billingham Town after bouncing back to form in midweek.
Newcastle Benfield have parted company with assistant manager Tom Wade who had only recently been appointed. Robin Falcus is now number two to Alu Bangura who misses Sean Bell for the home game with bottom of the table Stokesley SC who have claimed just one point from 18 games.
Jarrow Roofing could be on the verge of losing Aristote Guerin-Lokonga, who could be joining Torquay United.
Manager Richie McLoughlin is uncertain whether the former Newcastle United and Wolves player will be available at Shildon.
James Fairly will almost certainly be absent as he is expected to join Chester-le-Street.
South Shields’ new manager Jon King is hoping to sign three players but whether the transfers are completed in time for the game at Consett is uncertain.