Sunderland RCA expecting bumper crowd

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SUNDERLAND RCA chairman Owen Haley is hoping for the biggest gate of the season at Meadow Park tomorrow for the match of the day with West Auckland, in the STL Northern League.

He said: “I am massively proud we are undefeated following 12 games and let’s hope 13 is not our unlucky number.

“We’ve never been top of the table for so long and I’m over the moon the way Neil Hixon, the management team and the players are working to such great effect.

“Sunderland don’t have a game tomorrow and I’m urging football fans to come along and see what we have on offer.

“It should be a cracking game. We are unbeaten with nine wins and three draws while West Auckland are third, having lost just once in 10 games.

“Between us we’ve scored 60 goals so there’s every prospect of a goals bonanza.”

Manager Neil Hixon is delighted with his team’s performance in the early weeks of the season and he was particularly pleased with the character shown by the players when they recovered from the two-goal deficit against Marske United on Tuesday night.

“I thought we weren’t up to scratch in the opening half but dominated the last half hour and we were well worth a point.

“It’s going to be difficult tomorrow but I’m confident we can get a result and keep the bandwagon rolling,” declared Hixon who misses the injured Adam McGuinness and will need to give fitness tests to Harrison Davies, Scott Richards and John Butler.

West Auckland will come to Wearside buoyant after putting seven goals past Guisborough Town earlier in the week.

Kyle Barlow, signed from Chester le Street, could retain the goalkeeper’s jersey and Andrew Green is expected back into a full-strength squad.

Second-top Dunston UTS, who along with Sunderland RCA are the only unbeaten sides, visit top six Norton and Stockton Ancients boosted by the inclusion of Lee McAndrew and Stephen Goddard.

Norton, who have lost just twice, could move into third place just a point behind Dunston, if they win.

After surprisingly losing their unbeaten record at Billingham Synthonia on Wednesday night, Whitley Bay could again find the going difficult at Spennymoor Town who have run into a rich vein of form.

Ashington, who together with Spennymoor and Hebburn Town have reached the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, return to the bread and butter of league action following their victory over Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday night.

Manager Gary Middleton welcomes the return of Mattie Greave and Chris Fawcett while Jarrow Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin is forced to go without the injured Nathan Johnson.