Sunderland RCA happy to win ugly

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IT’S bottom versus top tonight when embattled Stokesley SC take on the might of Sunderland RCA in the STL Northern League First Division, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

But despite the wide gulf between the teams RCA boss Neil Hixon insists the game still has to be won.

He said: “They’ve taken just one point from a possible 30 and shipped goals as if there is no tomorrow but even so I’ll be delighted if we win 1-0 and come away with three points.”

Hixon this week moved to strengthen a squad which has propelled the Wearsiders to the top of the table with seven wins and two draws from nine games.

He has been tracking Billingham Synthonia’s central midfielder Keiron Edwards for some time and the player put pen to paper on Monday night.

“Keiron is a good signing for us and he goes straight into the squad tonight when I will also have Andrew Cuthbertson back from injury,” added Hixon.

RCA though cannot name John Butler or Stephen Halliday who are both working.

Whitley Bay, who boast an unbeaten record, aim to keep the pressure on RCA by beating Consett at Belle Vue Park while Newcastle Benfield will hope to kick-start their season at home to Penrith.

In Division Two, Easington Colliery entertain Alnwick Town who have taken the step up from the Northern Alliance in their stride.

The Colliers, promoted from the Wearside League, have not done as well as the Northumbrians and manager Andy Colledge will be without at least three of his regular squad members.

Simon Todd, James Huntley and Danny Flounders are definitely out while goalkeeper Chris Rookes and Dale Crawford are doubtful. Fortunately, striker David Doughty definitely returns.

Third-top Washington go to Crook Town where manager Richie Latimer will hope his side maintains their early-season promise.