A BUMPER crowd is expected at Meadow Park tonight when two of the challengers for the STL Northern League title lock horns in the Second Round of the Durham Challenge Cup.
Sunderland RCA lead the table and although Spennymoor Town are fifth, five points off the top, they have four games in hand on Neil Hixon’s side.
“It should be a cracking cup-tie and I’m really looking forward to the game which will give us the opportunity to see how competitive we are against one of the big boys.
“They’ve won the championship in each of the last two seasons and have a really good, strong squad so it’s going to be a tough task, but one things for sure, we’ll give them a good match,” enthused Hixon.
Richard Paxton is cup-tied, having played for Shildon in an earlier round and goalkeeper Neil Atkinson is also ineligible following his appearance for Ryhope CW in the previous round.
Last week, RCA transferred ‘keeper Gary Hoggeth to Jarrow Roofing and Kyle Donaldson will play only his second game.
“The lad played in the last round at Durham City, which we won and I’ve no hesitation in throwing him in,” added Hixon.
Seaham Red Star have home advantage over Esh Winning in an all-Second Division tie.
The hosts are third bottom while Esh are fifth-top, just a point outside the promotion places.
Joint First Division leaders West Auckland Town start firm favourites against Consett, who have slipped to fifth from the basement and in the remaining tie, Dunston UTS should prove too strong for Billingham Town after their seven goals thrashing at the week-end which keeps them in the relegation dog-fight.