Two tough games in three days for Sunderland RCA in the Northern League

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SUNDERLAND RCA face a tough few days as they will unusually play two games, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Billingham Town to Meadow Park.

Because Whitley Bay are involved in the FA Carlsberg Vase a week tomorrow, RCA have agreed to bring the fixture between the sides forward to Monday night.

Chairman Owen Haley explained: “It will give the Seahorses an extra day to prepare for their big game. We are out of the Vase but we want all the four STL Northern League clubs to reach the quarter finals and we are just too pleased to help.”

Before then, however, RCA will be aiming for three points against Billingham Town who are just point and one place above them midway in the table.

Manager Neil Hixon was pleased with Michael Dalton’s debut when he scored in the midweek victory over South Shields.

Keith Graydon and Scott Richards are unavailable, while striker Joe Walton is rated doubtful.

Consett, just two points ahead of Spennymoor Town, face a difficult task at Bedlington Terriers.

Joint manager Tony Lowery reports that Andrew Dugdale, signed from West Auckland Celtic, is named along with John Brackstone.

Consett boss Kenny Lindoe has a near full pool of 21 players available, his only absentee being Lewis Teasdale.

Spennymoor Town, the leading scorers with 66 goals, have home advantage over Ashington.

Manager Jason Ainsley will name his line up just before kick off while his opposite number Gary Middleton has now selection worries.

Shildon are third before their visit to Dunston UTS who have signed Liam O’Mahoney from Blyth Spartans.

Fergal Harkin is set to resume but Michael Robson is a out.

Newcastle Benfield are also involved in the championship race with at least two games in hand on the five sides above them.

The Tynesiders visit Norton and Stockton Ancients without John Campbell, who signed for Darlington.

“I’m over the moon for the lad. He scored 25 goals in 21 games for us and deserves a chance at a higher level” said manager Paul Baker.

Norton, who name Shaun Clarke and Dale Mulligan, this week mourn the death of Tommy Taylor who has been involved with the club since it was formed in 1959,

“Tommy was 90 and had visited every one of the 41 grounds in the Northern League so he was very well known and will be sadly missed” said chairman Michael Mulligan.

Whitley Bay, who together with Dunston UTS and Bishop Auckland have applied for promotion, aim to enhance their prospects at Bishop Auckland who are seventh from the basement with no chance of achieving their objective this season.

In Division Two, Chester-le-Street entertain promotion challengers North Shields and manager Stuart Sherwood will need to check the availability of Craig Marron, Jordan Frasier and flu victim Gary Shields.

The Robins have won 12 and drawn three of their last 15 matches and are third, with games in hand on leaders Newton Aycliffe and Guisborough Town.

Washington have slipped down the table after conceding 11 goals in their last two games.

The Newtowners have submitted their resignation to the league as a precautionary measure but Spendley fully expects the club to continue its membership.

Seaham Red Star host Guisborough Town and will give debuts to Simon Todd and Johnny Monoghan, signed from Durham City.

Colin Wright and Michael McEwan are also named but manager Kevin Turns will need to assess the fitness of former Blyth Spartans player Chris McCabe.