IT’S not exactly make or break, but defeat in tomorrow’s Ebac Northern League First Division game against rival strugglers Celtic Nation would plunge Sunderland RCA to second-bottom spot.
“It’s a big six-pointer for two struggling teams who will be looking to take maximum points,” declared secretary Rob Jones.
We ended a poor five-game spell and if we play tomorrow as we did on Tuesday, I’ll be more than happyDurham City boss Ian Chandler
“Our recent form has had a bit of a knock on effect to our confidence and we must bounce back in Cumbria.”
With Ross Preston away and Luke Richardson injured, RCA manager Martin Swales could be without four players since Stephen Callan and Joe Hughes are fitness concerns.
With Crook Town already relegated, a number of sides are fighting to avoid joining them in Division Two next season.
RCA are third from the basement, seven points behind West Allotment Celtic and Newton Aycliffe with several games in hand on both teams.
West Allotment face a particularly difficult test at home to North Shields, the only ENL side through to the semi-finals of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
The Robins welcome back captain Kevin Hughes and Gary Day, but Adam Forster, who scored one of the two goals in last Saturday’s Vase victory, is doubtful.
Newton Aycliffe are also in trouble before taking on Durham City whose manager Ian Chandler was delighted with the win over title contenders Marske United in midweek.
He said: “We ended a poor five-game spell and if we play tomorrow as we did on Tuesday, I’ll be more than happy.”
For once, Chandler has no one suspended and his only absentee is Nathan Lawrence.
Billingham Synthonia are another side not out of the woods, but in recent weeks have shown improvement and are now sixth from bottom, eight points in front of Sunderland RCA.
They host Newcastle Benfield with injury concerns for Steven Huggins, Chris Dodds, Josh Rowbotham and Ryan Forster.
A couple of months ago Newcastle Benfield were looking over their shoulders, but they are now in the top half of the table, confident they can keep a winning sequence going at the expense of Billingham Synthonia.
Gilberto Chapim is back, but Ritchie Slaughter cannot play because he’s suspended.
Bedlington Terriers have Paul Dunn and Kyle Dobson on the injured list and also out for the visit of Marske United is Dillon Williamson, who has joined Ashington.
Paddy Atkinson secured his first victory as Whitley Bay manager last week and following an impressive performance against Blyth Spartans, heis confident the tide has turned.
He could include Dominic McGrath who captained New Zealand Under-18s. Paul Robinson and Chris Reid are doubtful, but Scott Blandford, signed from Bedlington Terriers is set to make his home debut.
Jarrow Roofing have an attractive home clash with second-top West Auckland Town at Boldon and manager Ritchie McLoughlin cannot name suspended pair Alex White or Dan Kirkup.