Northern League: RCA chief Swales readies his men for tough test at West Auckland

Ryhope CW take on Washington (red) in last week's Northern League derby. Picture by Tim Richardson
Ryhope CW take on Washington (red) in last week's Northern League derby. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Sunderland RCA boss Martin Swales expects a tough task in tomorrow’s First Division game at lowly West Auckland Town.

RCA have managed just two away wins so far, but fifth-bottom West have won just twice at home in 10 matches.

Swales said: “West Auckland have had some good wins, and it’s a tough game up at their place with their pitch.

“However, they’ll be fighting for their lives, so hopefully we can go up there and get the points.”

RCA goalkeeper Neal Bussey is in light training after returning from a broken ankle, but Kevin Gordon and Liam McBride are both out injured.

Ross McNab will be given a fitness test and Adam McGuinness is back after missing out with work commitments last week.

Chester-le-Street, still looking for their first home win, face a daunting challenge against on-song Shildon at Chester Moor Park.

The Cestrians have Alex White out injured, while Jack Honour is away on holiday and Mark Peck, Craig Marron and Lee Mole are also out.

On the positive side, Callum Johnston returns after a long lay-off and Joseph Hailes is also back.

Chester boss Colin Wake said: “We’re expecting a very tough game, and the expectation is to at least perform a little bit better and participate rather than just turn up.”

Seaham Red Star, beaten in five successive league games, travel to leaders North Shields, who hold an eight-point advantage at the top.

The leaders are without striker Gareth Bainbridge, who is unavailable, but long-term injury victim Craig McFarlane is back in the squad.

Consett travel to Ashington, who miss injured defenders Luke Salmon and Craig Scott, plus Wayne Buchanan, who is suspended.”

Ashington official Brian Bennett said: “It’ll be a tough game, always is in our league. Our defeat last week (at Jarrow Roofing) saw an end to our winning streak, but the lads will be looking to get back to winning ways again.”

Washington remain just three points above the drop zone after three successive league defeats.

Tomorrow, Neil Hixon’s men are away to Bishop Auckland, who are launching their new radio station, which will feature live commentary of all home games.

The radio station is the brainchild of Dean Maynard, the head of PR at Heritage Park.

He said, “Nothing will ever beat attending the games at Heritage Park, but some fans might not able to attend due to work or other genuine commitments, this station is for them.”

Chairman Nick Postma added: “I am so happy to see the launch of our new radio station which will widen the club’s profile locally, nationally and internationally. Whilst there is no substitute for the atmosphere watching games at Heritage Park, we do recognise that many people are unable to attend games and our live commentary will keep them in touch with the club”

Second-top south Shields welcome Dunston UTS to Mariners Park.

Manager Graham Fenton said: “We have pretty much a full squad to choose from, with the exception of Gavin Cogdon and Lee Paul Scroggins, who are out with injury, but new signing Darren Holden, from Jarrow Roofing, is included.”

“I am expecting a difficult game. We played them recently and it wasn’t easy.

“They caused a couple of problems on the night, which we are not taking lightly and we are looking forward to the game.”