Seaham Red Star are determined to tighten up in defence for tomorrow’s First Division trip to Dunston UTS.
Assistant manager Paul Johnson was not a happy man with his defence in midweek, after conceding five at home to North Shields.
Johnson will be in charge tomorrow as Chris McCabe is unavailable and he said of the midweek defeat: “The lads were disappointed with their performance and they have to stop gifting goals to the opposition.
“The first and last goals were shockers and the squad needs a lift.
“I have made moves to bring in two experienced First Division players and hopefully we can get them in as soon as possible. Craig Lynch has been a massive loss the past few games and it’s very difficult to find a replacement.”
Aaron Croft and Tommy Price return for Red Star, after missing Tuesday’s heavy defeat. Long-term injured skipper Lynch is the only absentee.
Dunston have a few missing, with top scorer Mark Fitzpatrick suspended and Dale Burrell, Liam Thear, James Martin and Dan Capewell all out injured. Jake Stafford and Scott Heslop are doubtful.
Ryhope CW manager Gary Pearson insists his team have to improve, ahead of the game at Bishop Auckland.
He said: “Lewis Turnbull should return from injury, but Elliott Woods is still out with a thigh injury.
“Chris Trewick and captain Kyle Davis will return though, after missing our midweek game due to work commitments.
“As for our expectations for the weekend, anything would be better than our midweek performance against Whitley Bay, where we lost 7-0.
“We were fantastic for the first 35 minutes, but, just after half-time, we had a player sent off.
“We then struggled for the rest of the game with only 10 men.
“Bishop Auckland have stabilised and got some good results recently. We’ve gone the opposite way and the wheels have come off.
“We need to stop the rot and get back to winning ways. First and foremost, we need to make sure we don’t lose.”
Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales is in an upbeat mood ahead of the Meadow Park men’s trip to Guisborough Town.
He said: “Greg Swansbury, James Armstrong, Clayton Davis and Jonny Davis are unavailable this weekend. Reece Noble will have a late fitness test, but the squad will be strengthened with the addition of our new signing, goalkeeper Keith Finch.
“We are back to a full-strength side and will travel to Guisborough Town with a good attitude and a desire to win the game, to hopefully keep our good run going.”
Guisborough manager Gary Forster said: “We are close to being at full strength. We will approach the Sunderland RCA game knowing that we are up against a side that has started the season well and it will be very tough for us.
“But I believe in the talent we have in our squad, to pull us through these games and away from the relegation zone.”
Washington are on the road to high-flying Marske United, with a full squad to choose from.
Manager James Clark said: “We will be looking to build on the result on Tuesday night against Chester-le-Street (a 2-0 League Cup win), but this will be a tough game.”
Marske have a doubt over James Fairley, while Ashley Coffey is definitely out injured.
Consett hope that captain Daniel Craggs will recover from foot and ankle problems for the visit of Newton Aycliffe.
Manager Mark Eccles said: “This will be a tough game for us and, from what I know of Newton Aycliffe, they’ll be a physical team who will work hard. We’ll have to match them and hopefully our quality will come through.”
Bottom club Billingham Synthonia welcome Jarrow Roofing without the suspended David Hillerby, Matthew Ramage and knee injury victim Scott Howes.
Wilf Dinsdale returns.
Secretary Graham Craggs said: “After going 14 games without a win, we see this as a good opportunity to finally get a win on the board.”
West Auckland, in fifth place, travel to Whitley Bay, who are on a high following successive wins of Seaham Red Star (2-0) and Ryhope CW (7-0).