ASHBROOKE Belford House, who have slipped to fourth from bottom, face a stern challenge tomorrow when they line up against in-form Willington in the first round of the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup.
The visitors are enjoying a purple patch and are third top, equal on points with Ryhope CW and Redcar Athletic.
The Wearsiders are weakened with the absence of Mark Green, David Scott and Ryan Steel but fortunately manager Tommy Dobbing has Jack Donnolly and Jake Moan returning.
James Seymour will not play again until the new year while Willington also miss Danny Lee and Graeme Lazenby. The prognosis is better and the pair expect to be back in action within a couple of weeks.
Peterlee Town, buoyant after scoring five times in midweek, also face a difficult tie at home to Hartlepool.
The Newtowners welcome back Stephen Hockaday from suspension and also anticipate Martin Jones and David Leighton being able to play but a fitness doubt surrounds Paul Moss.
Pools this week appointed Chris Lax as manager enabling Tony Thomas to spend more time on his role as general manager.
Lax has been quick to strengthen the team bringing in goalkeeper Jamie Lawrence, Tony Goddard and Paul Vickers.
A blow, though, is the news that Andy Fletcher could be out for some time after having an operation on his shoulder.
In the remaining tie, Wolviston have home advantage over Gateshead Leam Rangers.
Shaun Gregory will be out of the Wolvision line-up for two months but Luke Bennington, Leam Robson and Matty Nelson are named.
Leam Rangers have brothers Scott and David Kerr from suspension but goalkeeper Dean Saunders and Leon Kane are banned.
One game will be played in the Sunderland Shipowners Cup when Redcar Athletic, who defeated Ryhope CW on Wednesday, travel to Darlington Cleveland Bridge.
The Seasiders cannot call upon Sam Young, Steve Thompon or Greg Booth but recent signing John Seaton is expected to figure at some stage.
The Bridge welcome the return of Neil Tarrant and Brendan Lally to a full strength squad.