SUNDERLAND RCA boss Neil Hixon was unfazed at his side’s first defeat of the season at the hands of West Auckland on Saturday and is confident winning form will be resumed against Guisborough Town in tonight’s STL Northern League First Division game at Meadow Park, writes Malcom Pratt.
He said: “Strange as it might seem, in a way I’m glad we’ve now lost a game since pressure was building up.
“The good thing about Saturday was that we were by far the better team but we didn’t put our chances away. We created loads of opportunities and should have won by a mile. Overall though, I was happy with the way the lads played but we do need to be a bit sharper in front of goal.”
Hixon will have to make changes to the line-up. Captain Carl Beasley took a bad knock on his ankle and shin while Andrew Cuthbertson is working.
In addition, Scott Richards will need a fitness test on his back injury.
Hixon will be watching out for the result of the Dunston UTS and West Auckland game. UTS are now just two points behind the Wearsiders with a game in hand while Auckland are third, four points adrift of RCA having played two fewer matches.
Fourth-top Whitley Bay, who have lost their last two games, need to bounce back at South Shields and Newcastle Benfield, in the unaccustomed position of being in the bottom half of the table, visit Jarrow Roofing who are only one place below them.
Birtley Town are at home to Thornaby in an all-Second Division Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup tie.
H Durham City aim to continue their rise up the Evo-Stik League Division One North table when they travel to Lancaster City.
Manager Dickie Ord, delighted with his side’s performance at the week-end, will have a full strength squad on duty.
“I thought we battered Prescot Cables on Saturday and if we play as well tonight we’ll stand a good chance of claiming another three points,” he said.
“A big plus is the return of Steve Thompson and even though we won on Saturday, he goes straight into the starting line-up. Steve is too good a player to leave out.”