Sunderland RCA insist they will not be complacent when they meet Darlington RA in the Skilltrainingltd Second Division at Meadow Park tonight.
The visitors were routed 7-0 by Jarrow Roofing at the weekend, but RCA secretary Colin Wilson claims the outcome could be tight even though his side enjoyed a five-goal romp over newcomers Gillford Park.
He said: "Jarrow Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin boosted his squad during the close season and I think they will be a much better team this time around.
"In contrast, RA have had their problems, with long-standing stalwart Dave Woodcock leaving after a second stint as manager.
His successor, Max Rees, formerly with Coxhoe Athletic, will want to quickly get Saturday's result out of the players' system and I reckon RA will be up for it tonight."
RCA are aiming for a good start to the season after just missing out on promotion in the last two years when they played catch-up.
Wilson added: "We want to be up there at the top from the start.
"We left ourselves too much to do in the last couple of seasons, but we have got to make it third time lucky."
The Wearsiders miss Wayne Henderson, and Paul Wardle is a doubt after having to be substituted at half-time on Saturday with a hamstring injury.
Matthew Noble is expected to make his starting debut.
After a weekend draw, Washington will be looking for a win when they host Brandon United at Albany Park.
Seaham Red Star hope to field a strong line-up at Crook Town where they will attempt to record a second successive victory.
Birtley Town visit newcomers Newton Aycliffe, who won the Wearside League title last season.