Northern League: Three key men back as Sunderland RCA tackle Seaham Red Star in intriguing derby

Seaham Red Star (red and white) battle it out with Shildon in last week's 2-2 Division One draw
Seaham Red Star (red and white) battle it out with Shildon in last week's 2-2 Division One draw
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Sunderland RCA have three key men back for tomorrow’s attractive First Division derby against Seaham Red Star at Meadow Park.

Martin Swales’ side shrugged off their injury problems to claim a stunning 3-2 victory at Newton Aycliffe last week.

Secretary Rob Jones said: “It’s a local derby for us and we should have Greg Swansbury, Jonny Davis and John Butler available after missing last week’s game.

“James Cassidy is out with a knee problem, and James Armstrong is on holiday.”

“At the moment, Seaham Red Star are flying, so it’s going to be a difficult game. We just have to play like we did last week, but we’re having an up and down season and we are expecting a hard game.”

Red Star are definitely without Nicky Kane, due to holidays, and Luke Proctor is injured, but they have midfielder David Palmer, back at the club after a spell at South Shields, returning and forward Craig Lynch will face a late fitness test.

Boss Chris McCabe said: “It will be a tough game, but I am pleased the way the team have been playing recently.”

Washington, three games unbeaten in league and cup, mentertain Consett, who hit nine against Chester-le-Street last week.

Mechanics manager Neil Hixon said: “Foster Garton may be available to play against Consett.

“I’ve created a new team and squad over the last four to five weeks, so it’s gradually coming together, but we still lack a couple of experienced players that we are on the hunt for at the moment, so every game is going to be a tough one.”

West Auckland travel to Marske United, who have Peter Bulmer suspended and an injury doubt over Dale Mulligan.

West spokesman Cliff Alderson said: “We virtually have a full squad and only have one doubt, as Carl Jones is carrying an injury. We have won the last three league games, so we are wanting to continue our run. We started at the bottom of the league, but now we’re moving up.”

Struggling Dunston UTS host Morpeth Town, with long-serving boss Billy Irwin having resigned. Dunston are seeking a replacement, and anyone interested should email secretary Bill Montague –

Whitley Bay face a tough derby task at leaders North Shields and Ashington head to Newton Aycliffe.

In Division Two, Durham City boss Chris Moore will not take victory for granted when his side host bottom club Esh Winning – despite the boost from Tuesday night’s 4-0 victory over previously unbeaten Billingham Synthonia.

Moore, who has done a fine job under trying circumstances at the homeless club, said: “Sam Norris is away, and David Luke is injured. We have players on the transfer list, so I’m not sure who is available.”

“We have won six or seven games so we are in good form, however, Esh Winning will be fighting for their lives, so we are not expecting an easy game.”

Struggling Crook Town face a tough trip to on-form Heaton Stannington, while their midweek cup conquerors, Tow Law Town, travel to Bedlington Terriers, with a full squad to choose from, including Scott Oldfield, their new signing from Guisborough Town.

Willington travel to Blyth Town, who have named Ian Irving as assistant to boss Mick Connor.

Brandon United visit Hebburn Town, who will field Anthony Dixon in goal as all three keepers are working.

Jason Blackburn faces a fitness test, while Ally Downey, Rhys Williams, Dan Chambers and James Talbot are all out injured and Glen Hargrave is at work.

Hebburn boss Scott Oliver said: “We are six unbeaten and going well. I must decide whether to bring the established players back in or stuck with the young lads who were great against Easington in the cup on Wednesday.”