A BUMPER crowd is expected at the Recreation Ground tonight when Ryhope CW will attempt to upset the form-book by defeating Spennymoor Town in the Quarter Final of the Durham Challenge Cup, writes Malcolm Pratt.
The Wearsiders, second-top of the Wearside League just a couple of points behind Redcar Athletic with two games in hand on their rivals, are attracting good gates but it’s the visit of Moors which has captured interest.
They boast the second-top home and away attendances of 310 and 266. The figures are bettered only by Whitley Bay.
“The tie has created a lot of interest in the area and we hope for a good turnout.
“It’s a great test for our squad which is a good mix of youth and experience. Several of the players have played in the STL Northern League so they know what to expect,” said manager Martin Swales.
His opposite number Jason Ainsley knows all about success, having guided Moors to the STL championship in successive season.
Currently, they are fourth from top, just a point behind Ryhope CW’s neighbours Sunderland RCA who could well have a presence at the tie.
A triple blow to Ryhope’s chances of causing an upset is that Lennie French, Nathan Johnson and John Harrison are all ineligible, having played in earlier rounds for their previous club.
Swales will need to assess the fitness of Dean Arkley, who will not be out of place if he is able to play. He is a proven Northern League player and his experience will be missed should he be sidelined.
In another quarter final match Consett, who held Sunderland RCA to a draw at the weekend, will aim to continue their improvement at the expense of Billingham Town.
The Teessiders crashed to a five-goals defeat on Saturday.
One game is scheduled in the STL Northern League and the result will be anxiously awaited by RCA manager Neil Hixon.
Dunston UTS are sixth-top and although six points adrift of the Wearsiders, have played five fewer fixtures.