Northern League: RCA at full strength for tough task at home to table-toppers Morpeth

Ryhope CW (red/white) take on Whitley Bay just before Christmas. Picture by Kevin Brady
Ryhope CW (red/white) take on Whitley Bay just before Christmas. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales has a full strength squad ready and eager to take on Division One leaders Morpeth Town at Meadow Park tomorrow, weather permitting.

RCA were beaten 2-0 at Stockton Town last weekend, their first defeat in five league matches.

Swales said: “Luke Richardson, Ross Preston, skipper Greg Swansbury, Clayton Davis and our loanee from Darlington, Jack Vaulks, will all be available this weekend.

“There will be late fitness tests for Michael Charlton, Adam McGuinness and Luke Page.”

Swales is in a positive frame of mind ahead of one of the toughest challenges of the season.

He added: “Morpeth are flying in the league and we are expecting a tough game, but we hope to come away with all three points.”

Ryhope CW, on a run of three successive league defeats, journey to Dunston UTS, who are on a high after beating West Auckland in the Durham Challenge Cup on penalties in midweek.

Ryhope assistant manager Stuart Gooden is looking for a change of luck for his side, saying: “We basically just need a change of fortune. We’ve been playing quite well, without getting points on the board.

“You make your own luck in this game, but we’re not getting what we deserve. We expect a tough game, but are feeling hopeful.

“Definitely out will be David Gordon and Christopher Wallace, while Danni Lay will also miss the match due to a suspension.

“Josh Home-Jackson is unavailable due to work commitments, but, other than that, we have a fully fit squad.”

Dunston UTS have seen Josh Hawkes’ loan from Hartlepool United ended, while Dale Burrell and James Martin continue their recovery from long injury absences.

Michael Pearson is returning to full match fitness after an extended three-month holiday.

Seaham Red Star manager Chris McCabe, whose side host lowly Penrith, said: “It was good to get a game in last week, when we beat Washington 4-1.

“New signing Luke Gilhespy has fitted in well and helped tighten things up at the back – he even shocked us by scoring our second goal from a set piece!”

For tomorrow, Lee Hetherington and Alex Ramshaw both return and McCabe is hopeful that Ash Davis will pass a fitness test to continue his partnership with Liam McBryde up front.

David Scorer and Alex Ramshaw are available again after suspension, but Callum Munro serves a one-match ban. Kieran Galbraith and Craig Lynch are still out injured/

Consett, away to Whitley Bay, are still missing a few players, including Dan Hawkins and David Knight.

Boss Mark Eccles said: “Obviously we’ve had no games over the last few weeks due to the weather, so we hope to come out fighting fit this weekend.”

Jarrow Roofing, down to third-bottom spot, travel to Newton Aycliffe boosted by the re-signing of former players John Campbell (Whitby Town) and Anth Myers (Hebburn).

Campbell’s first spell with Roofing helped them launch a pre-Christmas title challenge in 2014 before being snapped up by Football League club Oxford United.

He returned in 2015 before moving on again to Newton Aycliffe.

Boss Richie McLoughlin said: “The two signings have come at the right time, but things cannot be expected to change overnight.

“We just need to keep our heads, select the right team and leave it to the players to do their jobs.”

Dennis Knight, Iulian Petrache and Paul Garthwaite are all suspended, while Oli Leedham misses out due to injury, but Liam Anderson returns.

Fourth-top Shildon welcome Team Northumbria to Dean Street.

Washington, seeking a new manager following the decision to part company with James Clark, are without a game.

But they will face three crucial matches in six days when they get back into action.

The Mechanics, sitting in second-bottom spot, must wait until Wednesday to take on Stockton Town. They then entertain Sunderland RCA at the Nissan Sports Complex next Saturday before heading north of the Tyne to meet Team Northumbria on Monday, January 15.

Meanwhile, Peter Mulcaster has resigned as manager of Second Division Darlington RA, leaving coaches Michael Colman, Martin Mulcaster and Mark Wheldon in temporary charge.

* West Auckland travel to Stockton Town for an attractive tie as the FA Vase takes centre stage again tomorrow.

Ross Colquhoun returns after suspension. West official Cliff Alderson said: “We’ve played each other twice this season – we won the reverse fixture at Stockton. They’re a much improved team and have climbed up the league to the top seven, so we are expecting a cracking tie.”

Stockton have Max Craggs available after a one-game ban.

Newcastle Benfield welcome Coleshill Town, who top the Midland League Premier Division, while Marske United entertain Hinckley, who also sixth in the Midland First Division One but have scored 67 goals in just 21 matches.