RICHIE McLoughlin feels his Jarrow Roofing side will be put at a “slight disadvantage” as they prepare to take on Durham City on a 3G pitch tomorrow.
The Citizens have had an artificial pitch installed at their New Ferens Park home since 2006.
And as the Roofers prepare to take on Ian Chandler’s rejuvenated side, who have won three of their last five home games, McLoughlin admits they are heading into a relative “unknown”.
“It’s not a surface we have played on very much so that may be an advantage to Durham,” he said. “It might take a while to get used to the style of play in a competitive match, but we have had two training nights on a 3G surface so that will help us cope.”
Chandler’s men ran out 1-0 winners at the Boldon CA Sports Ground in August, with Callum Hope notching the only goal.
But with the South Tynesiders on a five-match unbeaten run in Northern League Division One, McLoughlin feels there is “very little” to separate the teams this time around.
He added: “We watched Durham play in their loss against Bishop Auckland on Tuesday, and I believe there is nothing between us in terms of quality.
“The match will see two form sides take to the pitch, so this has all the makings of a massive game.”
Durham lie four points and one place below Roofing in the standings following their 2-1 loss to the Two Blues in midweek.
In Callum Patton, though, they have a striker brimming in confidence, with six goals in his last two games.
Roofing’s task will be made harder due to the absences of Kyran Whitehead, Alan Greenan, Danny Carson and Shaun Vipond, but with the striking duo of Malky Morien and Lewis Teasdale in good form, belief will be high.
Kick-off at the New Ferens is at 3pm.