Northern League: ‘Massive’ derby means so much to Sunderland RCA and visitors Ryhope CW

Sunderland RCA forward Stephen Callen (red and white) comes under pressure in last week's FA Cup win over Ashington. Picture by Kevin Brady.
Sunderland RCA forward Stephen Callen (red and white) comes under pressure in last week's FA Cup win over Ashington. Picture by Kevin Brady.
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Sunderland RCA and Ryhope CW go head to head in an Ebac Northern League Division One derby clash tomorrow, with both clubs in the same opinion that the game is ‘massive’.

RCA manager Martin Swales said of the Meadow Park showdown: “It’s a massive derby against them, they are less than half a mile away from us and it’s a big deal.

“We’ve done quite well so far, we beat Ashington 4-0 in the FA Cup, although we did get beat by Marske, however.

“Ryhope have been doing well. Having played three and won three league games, we’re expecting a tough game.

“With us being so close, hopefully we’ll draw in a decent crowd.”

As for team news, the manager has to do without Luke Richardson and Colin Larkin who are injured, alongside Ross Preston who is away.

James Armstrong misses out with a groin injury and Ross McNab is still out with a broken hand.

Clayton Davis returns to the squad with new boy Jack Ashton, signed from Dunston, also in the squad.

Ryhope CW assistant manager Stuart Gooden said: “We’re over the moon with our performance last week, it was superb even though we were down to 10 men.

“This week’s derby against Sunderland RCA is massive. We have a lot of players missing, but that will give some of the lads a chance who haven’t featured yet this season.

“We’ll be going in as the underdogs with a depleted squad, and are expecting a really tough game against a very good RCA team.

Stuart added: “Danni Lay and Thomas Bott are suspended and James Ellis, Kyle Davis and David Gordon are all out with injuries.

“Ben Riding and Jack Cairns are away and Simon Ord is working.

“However, we have completed the loan signing of Dale Milburn from Darlington.”

Washington travel to Ashington and the home side have Craig Scott and Luke Salmon returning to the squad, but Shaun Bell and Ryan Bell are ruled out through injury.

After last weekend’s FA Cup exit, joint Ashington manager Steve Harmison said: “We will regroup and make sure we are ready to take on Washington.”

Seaham Red Star’s midweek win moved them up to fourth place in the table and joint manager Paul Johnson was delighted with the effort put in by his players, picking out Bradley Staunch, Lee Chapman and Andy Johnston for their performances.

Johnson said: “Andy had just returned home following a four-week trip to Thailand, he’s never trained and was tremendous for us for 60 minutes – a credit to his natural fitness.”

Red Star are at home to Shildon and Staunch is unavailable, but David Scorer and Craig Lynch could be fit. Liam Hodgson is not yet available.

Joint manager Chris McCabe added: “Brad will be a big miss, he’s had some solid games at the heart of the defence, but David Scorer is back for what will be a very stern test for us, when Shildon come to the Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium.

“I am trying to bring in a new face and hopefully, we’ll get the paperwork done in time.”

Shildon vice-chairman Jeff Ridley said: “It will be a very hard game against Seaham Red Star. It will be close and we will do our best, but we know it’ll be difficult to get a good result against them.

“So far this season we have done quite well, and haven’t lost a game yet.”

He added: “We had a good win in the FA Cup, drew against North Shields and have won the other fixtures.

“So we’ll be looking to carry our good start on into the weekend. We are without Michael Rae who is unavailable, and will be out for the next five weeks, with Daniel Groves and Matthew Robson doubtful due to injury.”

Billingham Synthonia, without a win so far this season, play Consett at home.

Chris Salmon is out with an ankle injury, alongside James Rowe who has a hamstring problem.