MANAGER Neil Hixon reckons Sunderland RCA gave their best STL Northern League performance of the season when they “blew away” Ashington on Tuesday night.
He said: “Take out the first five minutes and they were never in the game.
“In the 11 years as a manager that was the best first-half performance I’ve seen. We were absolutely frightening and could easily have won by a bigger margin.”
Tomorrow, RCA meet Spennymoor Town at the Brewery Field in the match of the day.
Hixon’s men lead their rivals by nine points but Moors have three games in hand.
“We go there with loads of confidence and there’s no doubt the outcome could define the season for both sides.
“After tomorrow, we are away to West Auckland Town and home to Dunston UTS, the only other side in contention for the Championship so it’s a big, big week for us,” added Hixon.
The Wearsiders this week re-signed Harrison Davies from Consett and hope to complete the transfer of Dale Jardine from Newton Aycliffe before tomorrow’s deadline.
Hixon explained: “We only had 14 fit players at Ashington and now I’ve got Liam Dunn injured so I felt I needed to boost numbers for the crucial end to the season.”
After surprisingly losing to Consett, Spennymoor were again shocked on Tuesday night when they were defeated by Jarrow Roofing and a win for them is essential.
At the other end of the table, several sides are battling to avoid joining Stokesley SC in Division Two next season.
Tow Law Town have a mountain to climb, according to manager Ian Davison.
He said: “It’s not looking very good. Games are running out and with only six to play we are 12 points from safety.”
Davison and Michael Robson are suspended for the visit of Bedlington Terriers who are aiming for a top six finish.
They have Stuart Elliott banned and Steve Bowey is given only a 50-50 chance of passing a fitness test.
For the first time in years Whitley Bay have only pride to play for. At home to Newton Aycliffe they miss Lee Paul Scoggins who is in the middle of a five match ban.
Perry Briggs, who has taken over as manager of Newcastle Benfield after leaving his post as number two to Jason Ainsley at Spennymoor Town, claims there is a big rebuilding job to be done.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve only been in post for 10 days but seen enough to know that we are giving away soft goals. We need to defend much better” observed Briggs who is without the suspended Shaun Bell at Stokesley SC.
H Dunston UTS and West Auckland Town battle it out for a place in the final of the FA Carlsberg Vase at Wembley.
Dunston take a one-goal lead to Chesterfield side Staveley MW while West Auckland Town and Herne Bay are level in the other semi-final following their first leg tie in Kent last week.