RCA wait on McClean green light

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PATRICK McClean, brother of Sunderland star James, will make his Sunderland RCA debut in tonight’s Durham Challenge Cup tie against Bishop Auckland at Meadow Park – providing his international clearance is received in time.

Manager Neil Hixon explained. “We signed Patrick and goalkeeper Eugene Ferry last week. The two lads have played for Derry City and we can’t involve them until we’ve received the nod from the FA.

“Apparently, the FA are on full alert to deal with more high profile transfers so we’re not sure where our application stands in the pecking order. We’ll just have to wait and see but as soon as the lads are cleared, they will figure at some stage.”

RCA, confident the game will go ahead, are unable to name Adam McGuinness, who played for Hebburn Town in an earlier round. Also cup-tied are Elliott Cutts and Gary Shaw, the former Durham City pair.

A boost is that Jamie Clarke is set to play his first game for the Wearsiders after being signed from Darlington 1883.

Seaham Red Star will now host the tie with Shildon after the clubs agreed to a switch of venue.

Ivan Stoyanov, transferred from South Shields, is in Bulgaria so his debut for Red Star is delayed but Chris Goss has recovered from an injury.

“Hopefully, now having home advantage will improve our prospects but it’s going to be really tough against Shildon who at the weekend reached the last 16 in the FA Carlsberg Vase. You never know though they might have other things on their minds tonight,” quipped secretary Kevin Turns.

Washington line up with North Shields in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup at the Nissan Sports Complex and boss Richie Latimer is expecting a difficult game.

“They are on a good run but we weren’t doing too badly ourselves until the weather intervened. We are all looking forward to getting back into action and hopefully making progress,” declared Latimer who has a full squad available with the exception of Mark Covell.

Ryhope CW face First Division Hebburn Town in the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup. Manager Martin Swales is expected to name Jack Lilley, signed on loan from Gateshead and Jack Pounder , who has moved in from Horden CW.

Nathan Johnson, however, is suspended and Swales awaits news on the availability of Chris Rookes and James Dunn.

In Division Two of the ENL, Horden CW are at West Allotment Celtic where manager Darren Atkinson could field a couple of new players.

Dane Wilson and Andrew Upperton though are still waiting to complete suspensions and a big loss if the decision of Jack Pounder to move to Ryhope CW.