Northern League: New signing Martin ready for RCA debut against misfiring Dunston

Ryhope CW (red) battle North Shields last weekend. The sides meet again north of the Tyne tomorrow
Ryhope CW (red) battle North Shields last weekend. The sides meet again north of the Tyne tomorrow
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Sunderland RCA will again be severely depleted for the First Division visit of out-of-sorts Dunston UTS to Meadow Park tomorrow.

Goalkeeper Neal Bussey is out with a broken ankle and replaced by Sam Guthrie, who was released by Huddersfield Town in August.

Also missing are Kevin Gordon, James Armstrong, Michael Charlton, James Cassidy and Stephen Callan.

Manager Martin Swales will probably hand a debut to Kieron Martin, signed from Bishop Auckland, while a boost is the return of skipper Clayton Davis.

Unusually, Dunston are in the bottom six with just three wins out of 11 attempts. They are hopeful that James Luccock, Michael Pearson and Dale Burrell will be available, but Liam Thear is banned.

Seaham Red Star are riding on the crest of a wave and their recent form is matched only by leaders North Shields.

Seven wins and a draw from their last eight games propelled them into fifth position and they expect to be near full strength for the visit to Newcastle Benfield.

The only definite absentee is Luke Proctor, who is probably three weeks away from making his comeback after suffering an ankle injury.

Nicky Kane is a doubt, but is expected to be named in the squad along with returning pair Daryl Donnelly and Lee Hetherington.

Newcastle Benfield joint boss Paul Brayson is happy with his team’s form, especially as he brought in six new players in the close season.

“We’ve played a lot of the top teams and equipped ourselves OK, but it will be a tough one tomorrow when Seaham visit,” observed Brayson.

Lewis Scorgie is expected to be available, but Brayson awaits news on Scott McCarthy and Mark Dummett before finalising his squad.

Ryhope CW face a daunting task when they go to unbeaten leaders North Shields, a week after losing 2-1 at home to the Robins.

Gary Pearson’s newly-promoted men are seventh-bottom with three wins and three draws from 13 matches, while the Robins have racked up 11 victories and four draws.

Easington Colliery and Team Northumbria clash in the Second Division’s match of the day at Welfare Park.

The Colliers are fourth, seven points adrift of Team whose phenomenal start has seen them win 11 and draw one of their 12 games.

Assistant manager Craig Parkinson is urging Easington’s green army to come out in force and roar the side to victory. He said: “The two games last year were very tight and ended in draws.

“Even at this early stage of the season, it’s an important match, so we need our fans behind us. Fortunately, we have a full squad to choose from.”

Shane O’Brien returns from a three-match ban and Shaun Smith will be looking to start after coming off the bench last Saturday.

Recently-signed Jack Pounder and Joe Kerridge both scored twice last weekend and will spearhead an attack which has notched 31 goals in 13 games.

The pair will have to be at their best since Team North have conceded a miserly three goals in 12 games.

Following their relegation last season, Durham City have made a useful start and are sixth-top before tackling Northallerton at Consett.

Hebburn Town host third-top Whickham looking to make it three wins on the trot.

Craig Malley misses out, along with the injured Ally Downey Dan Chambers and James Talbot, but Kris Summers is back in contention.

Boss Scott Oliver said: “We are 10th and I am determined that we kick on and put pressure on the leaders as we have a host of home games coming up.

“With no professional football around, I hope we get another good crowd in.”

Willington head to Heaton Stannington, who are seeking a first home win, while Crook, in fourth-bottom spot, entertain Brandon who are one point and one place better off.