SUNDERLAND RCA manager Martin Swales has made a double swoop to boost his squad ahead tomorrow’s First Division clash with Morpeth Town at Meadow Park.
Kieran Megran has joined from Bishop Auckland and Paul Weldon, a former Middlesbrough and Darlington 1883 player, is also pencilled in for his debut.
“We’ve done really well recently, taking 10 points from our last six games and I can now see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Swales.
“We are still only third from bottom, but have several games in hand on every side, except Shildon, so we have got ourselves into a position where we can move on. Bringing the two lads in will help us and I’m confident it’s upwards and onwards.”
Stephen Bogie and Danny Wray are also named, but Andrew Brown, Clayton Davis and Joe Hughes are definite non-starters. In addition, Michael Charlton will need to have his fitness assessed before Swales names his squad.
Durham City are close to completing a signing and boss Ian Chandler expects the player to be in the side at Consett.
He said: “I don’t want to pre-empt anything, but I’m pretty sure the transfer will go through.”
One piece of business which Chandler has completed is to sign Ryan Noble, the former Sunderland and Darlington 1883 player, on a contract until the end of the season.
“Ryan has looked very good and already formed a productive partnership with Callum Patton up front,” he said. “I’m certain the pair will cause opposing defences plenty of problems.”
Baptiste Fixot and Moussa Bakhti have returned to France for the festive season, but Walid Abeid is available. Callum Hope is away and Chris Wallace is serving a six match ban picked up playing Sunday football.
Leaders West Auckland and Dunston UTS meet in a crucial game, with the visitors looking to cut a nine-point deficit. Dunston hope goalkeeper Liam Connell will recover from a groin strain which has restricted his appearances.
North Shields are second going into their derby at Newcastle Benfield. Top scorer Gareth Bainbridge is out, but Jack Donnison is expected to come into the Graham Fenton’s plans.
The Robins end the year unbeaten at home, with 18 wins and two draws from 20 games in 2014.
Jarrow Roofing have slipped to sixth but should regain winning form at the expense of Billingham Synthonia, who are enduring their worst season in three decades.
Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin brings in keeper Alan Greenan and Kieran Whitehead, but captain Dan Kirkup is banned. Synners have Matthew Osmond and Dan Dillon back from bans and could include Thomas Marron, newly signed from Guisborough.