Sunderland fans not at Doncaster urged to support Durham Challenge Cup game on doorstep

Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales
Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales
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Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales is hopeful that a big crowd will be at Meadow Park to see his side take on Sunderland in the Durham Challenge Cup.

RCA were set to be the away side when the draw took place, but the tie was switched to their Meadow Park home.

With Sunderland’s first-team in League One action at Doncaster Rovers it seems likely that a young Black Cats side will face the in-form Northern League Division One outfit.

Swales hailed the game as “a great occasion” for his club as he looks to improve on last year’s run to the second round of the competition, before a 3-2 defeat at South Shields ended their hopes of reaching the final.

“It’s a huge game for us as a club,” said the RCA manager. “We really appreciate that Sunderland have reversed the tie so it will be played at Meadow Park.

“We know the first team are playing at Doncaster Rovers, but hopefully we can still get a good crowd through the gates.

“We would love to see Sunderland supporters coming down and helping to make it a great occasion for the club.

“It’s a really good test for our players and it’s a competition that we want to do well in.

“Hopefully a big crowd will be there to see it.”

Elsewhere in the competition, Ryhope CW face a tough-looking trip to West Auckland Town.

Manager Gary Pearson is without injured trio Danni Lay, Joe Melvin and Jake Winship, but does can call upon the services of defender Elliott Woods.

Seaham Red Star could hand a debut to midfielder David Henderson in their home tie against Chester-le-Street Town.

The former Blyth AFC and West Allotment Celtic joined the club on Sunday and is in contention for a first start against the Cestrians.

Two sides promoted into the Northern League’s top tier last season meet at The Energy Check Sports Ground as Hebburn Town face Whickham.

Northern League Division Two strugglers Durham City host Newton Aycliffe and Wearside League duo Silksworth CW and Boldon CA face tough-looking away ties against Consett and Shildon respectively.

Washington will look to build upon their weekend win against Durham City when they face Willington at Nissan Sports Complex.