Sunderland RCA up for the challenge in the STL Northern League

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SUNDERLAND RCA face another challenging contest at STL Northern League First Division contenders Consett tonight, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

Boss Neil Hixon, still rueing the weekend defeat to West Allotment, said: “It was a bad result on Saturday. We must have had 85 per cent of the possession and missed numerous opportunities.”

Richard Logan is suspended and Scott Richards sidelined, but Hixon adds Keith Graydon and Wayne Henderson to his squad.

Leaders Shildon meet Whitley Bay, who have won 10 in a row, at Dean Street.

Bay boss Ian Chandler, fresh from clinching an FA Vase semi-final spot, said: “We’ve hit form at just the right time. I’ve rotated the side in recent weeks to keep everybody fresh.

“It would be great to return to Wembley for a third successive season but before the first leg at Poole, we have some crucial league games coming up.”

Bishop Auckland will aim to take another step away from the relegation zone when they travel to Norton, while fellow strugglers Billingham Synthonia host South Shields.

A big crowd is expected at Dunston UTS, who host Spennymoor in the Durham Challenge Cup semi-final. The winners will meet Gateshead.

In Division Two, recently appointed Washington manager Dave Smith will need a vastly-improved performance against promotion contenders Guisborough at Nissan.

Birtley Town go to Northallerton, while table-topping Newton Aycliffe are at Crook Town.