Northern League: Sunderland RCA boss Swales demands reaction in derby showdown with Seaham Red Star
Sunderland RCA have injury worries ahead of their First Division derby against Seaham Red Star, at Meadow Park tomorrow (3pm).
RCA, who dropped a place to eighth with their midweek defeat at Ashington, are looking to avenge a 4-3 away defeat back in November.
Manager Martin Swales said: “We are struggling with injuries. An ankle injury is likely to keep Greg Swansbury out and Nathan O’Neill has a hamstring problem, as does Colin Larkin.
“But, on the plus side, Clayton Davis and Dylan Elliott are back and I have a few irons in the fire, regarding some new signings.”
Swales added: “We were on a decent run and, in midweek at Ashington, we played very well for the first 35 minutes and then gave the game away.
“The lads were ordered in for extra training following that result and I am looking for a reaction against Red Star.
“We owe them one as well, after they beat us 4-3 at their place when we were 3-0 up, so I am looking forward to the game.”
Red Star manager Craig Lynch said: “It is a big game for the club and a massive derby, but we will try and treat it as any other game.
“We need to get points on the board and move up the table. Every game is hard and we really have some tough fixtures coming up, starting with RCA.
“A few of the lads have some knocks following the defeat to Dunston UTS in midweek, but I expect to have a full strength squad available.
“It has been hard with the weather to get some rhythm going and implement some of the ideas I have installed at training, but we particularly need to tighten up at the back, as we are giving away far too many soft goals.
“It was like we went for a testimonial match at Dunston UTS, not the quarter-finals of the cup, which was very hard to take.
“We gave away three goals and how do you deal with that, how can you get back in it, when you are well behind through poor play?”
Ryhope CW, still to ensure their survival near the foot of the table, travel to Team Northumbria and the management team of Gary Pearson and Stuart Gooden have injury problems.
Gooden said: “Our top defender, Elliot Woods, is out due to suspension, plus Ben Riding, Josh Home-Jackson and Richard Paxton are all away and unavailable.
“Chris Trewick and Kyle Davis are both injured, as well as David Gordon and Chris Wallace, who are still out on long-term injuries.
“We have a lot of lads missing, so we know we have a tough game on our hands.
“We had a good performance in Tuesday night’s match, but lost to a last-minute goal.
“We know we have a very busy schedule coming up and we need to get some points on the board to avoid relegation. However, we are looking forward to the game.”
Second-bottom Washington, with safety still a possibility, journey to Guisborough Town and new secretary Lee Holmes said: “We will travel with a full squad and the management team welcome back club captain Alex White and Josh Allan to full fitness.
“New signing John Dixon is included in the squad and pushing for a starting position.”
Third-placed Consett welcome Bishop Auckland and manager Mark Eccles said: “We still have Ryan McKinnon, David Dowson and Daniel Hawkins unavailable, due to long-term injuries.
“However, this week we have Ross Wilkinson and Harrison Scott available, which will help boost the squad. Hopefully we can pick up all three points at home.”
West Auckland visit Norton to take on bottom club Billingham Synthonia.
Synners secretary, Graham Craggs said: “We are all raring to go and have a full squad available. It has been five weeks since we had a game, which has been frustrating for the lads.
“We hope the weather stays fine as it is presently, so we can get a game in at the weekend. It’s going to be like starting the season all over again!”
Shildon have consolidated sixth position recently, with two successive wins, but they face a tough task at home to leaders Morpeth Town.
Morpeth have an 18-point gap to second-placed Marske United, who still have nine games in hand.
Dunston UTS entertain Newton Aycliffe and have a full squad to choose from.
Dan Capewell returns after recovering from a knee operation which has kept him out since the start of the season.
Jack Elliott could make his delayed debut, after being cup-tied for the recent Durham Challenge Cup and League Cup ties, having played in both for Consett.
Jarrow Roofing, still in third-bottom spot, welcome Ashington, who have Shaun Henderson ruled out through injury.
Dylan Williamson is rated doubtful for the Colliers, however, David Edwards and player-manager Steve Bowey could return.
Fourth-bottom Penrith are in the thick of the relegation scrap and host Whitley Bay, who have suffered five successive defeats.
Tonight, North Shields, in fifth place, take on Newcastle Benfield.
Stockton Town will look to seal the deal in the home second leg of their Buildbase FA Vase semi-final against Marske United.
A sell-out crowd will see the Anchors, 2-0 up from the first game, try to reach Wembley for the first time.
Marske have long-term absentees Matthew Bell and Andy Ramsbottom still missing, but, other than that, expect to have a full squad to choose from.