Northern League: Red Star hope for change of luck in derby showdown against RCA

Easington Colliery (green) take on Alnwick Town in their recent Second Division clash.  Picture by Kevin Brady
Easington Colliery (green) take on Alnwick Town in their recent Second Division clash. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Seaham Red Star joint manager Paul Johnson hopes for a change of fortune in tomorrow’s First Division derby at home to Sunderland RCA.

Johnson said: “We would have avoided defeat at Shildon last week if some of the many chances created had been taken.

“We have had a good run of form lately and the only thing that has let us down has been our finishing.

“It’s not as though it’s only one or two of the lads missing chances, but whoever we put in seems to suffer the same fate.

“Our build-up play has been excellent at times and in some of our recent games we should have been out of sight by half-time.”

Red Star have a full squad to choose from.

Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales said: “We will be missing Liam McBryde, who is on his stag do.

“Craig Hodgson is out for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage, and Reece Noble is out with an ankle injury.

“Late fitness tests will be given for Michael Charlton, James Cassidy and Jonathan Davis, and we have signed Kieron Graham from Jarrow Roofing.”

On the match, Swales added: “It will be a tight game. Seaham Red Star are one place above us in the league.

“We drew 1-1 at our place, and we were the better side. It’s a bit of a derby and hopefully we’ll get the three points.”

Fourth-top Morpeth Town have switched their game to Washington’s Nissan base after permission from the league, because of waterlogging at Craik Park.

Washington manager James Clark said: “We will have a fully fit squad, and are hoping to have one or two additions by the end of the week.

“Morpeth are flying, quality throughout, and we as a team have got to improve in all areas and be disciplined.”

West Auckland host bottom club Chester-le-Street, who miss Mark Peck, Chris Pearson and Aaron Reynolds.

Kieran Megran and Jack Honour return for the Cestrians, who are nine points adrift of safety with just five games to play.

Manager Colin Wake said: “We have five cup finals left to try and get something out of the season, starting at West Auckland.

“It is a game where we must go and look for a positive result, and we will be going with a full strength side and will give it a right old go.”

Leaders North Shields look to complete a double at Shildon, having beaten the Railwaymen 3-0 at home earlier this month.

Victory will take Jon McDonald’s men to 100 points.

For Shildon, Matty Robson and Billy Greulich-Smith returned in midweek after injuries, while doubts reman over Adam Burnicle and Anthony Bell.

Official John Atkinson said: “We will try to make a dent on North Shields’ lead, but we’ve got to improve to get some sort of result as they are playing exceptionally well at the moment and are on a very good run.

“It will take some doing to stop them.”

On-song Jarrow Roofing head to Bishop Auckland in confident mood.

Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin said: “Bishop are a top-six side, but I can’t see much difference between the two sides.

“We want to keep winning and they will be a test for us, but we will certainly be a test for them, too.”

Captain Shaun Vipond is suspended and full-back Ross Toward is away this weekend.