SUNDERLAND RCA manager Neil Hixon could hand debuts to a couple of players in tonight’s Ebac Northern League First Division game at Celtic Nation.
He signed Paul Wardle and Callum Charlton from Hebburn Town at the weekend and with four players out, the pair have a good chance to be involved at some stage.
Work commitments sideline Lewis Graham, Lee Owens, Scott Richards and Paul Buzzeo but Hixon reckons he’ll still have a squad of 14 making the journey to Cumbria.
“It’s always difficult playing over there in midweek. Lads can’t get away from work early enough but I think I’ll be okay with the two newcomers on board.” said Hixon.
Following a disappointing performance and result in their last game, Durham City boss Adam Furness is looking for his side to bounce back when Ashington visit New Ferens Park.
Furness has yet to announce his line-up but the Colliers definitely miss Gareth Bainbridge, who has a dislocated shoulder. In addition, Josh Gray is doubtful.
Despite suffering a dramatic loss of form in recent weeks, Hebburn Town are still in the top half of the table but could find it again difficult at home to West Auckland Town whose aim now is to finish third behind Darlington 1883 and Spennymoor Town who are expected to battle it out for the championship.
Whitley Bay trail West Auckland by eight points but have three games in hand. They host relegation-threatened Billingham Town.
South Shields and Newcastle Benfield meet for the second time in a week with the Mariners keen to avenge a 1-0 defeat which cost them their place in the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup.
The pair are uncomfortably placed in the bottom five and with crucial points at stake, another close result is anticipated.
A boost for the Shieldsmen is the availability of Jason Brazauskas, Andrew Thompson, Denver Morris, Lewis Turnbull and Paul Robinson, who were all cup-tied for last Wednesday’s game.
Because Belle Vue Park is unplayable, Consett have hurriedly rearranged their fixture with Billingham Synthonia to take place on Teesside.
In Division Two, Horden CW have the chance to move out of the bottom two for the first time in months but they will need to defeat Tow Law Town at the Ironworks Road ground.
Their task won’t be easy since the Lawyers’ form has improved in recent weeks and they are now in the top half of the table.
Chester-le-Street last night signed Scott Arnold, who has been playing in the Durham Alliance and he goes straight into the squad against Thornaby at Chester Moor Park. Manager Colin Wake’s only injury concern is for Craig Mickle.
H Dunston UTS moved into seventh position in the Ebac Northern League First Division with a 1-1 draw at Guisborough Town last night.
The home side made a dream start when they scored through Liam O’Sullivan after just two minutes and three minutes later goalkeeper Dan Dixon saved an Andy Bulford penalty.
UTS launched wave after wave of attacks in the second period, which they completely dominated, but they managed just one goal from Chris Swailes on 76 minutes.
The fixture between Team Northumbria and Penrith was switched yesterday because the Tynesiders’ ground was unplayable but the Cumbrians failed to make home advantage count and it was Team who scraped a 1-0 victory with a first-half strike from Peter Watling.