THERE’S an attractive game between Durham City and North Shields in prospect at New Ferens Park in Division One of the Ebac Northern League tomorrow.
“I feel we are getting stronger and with Nicky Allen, Callum Hope and Johnny Davis back, I’m confident we will give them a good game,” said manager Ian Chandler, who is waiting on international clearance for Walid Abeid, brother of Newcastle United midfielder Mehdi.
North Shields have confounded the critics during their first season back in Division One for 25 years.
They are third and a boost for boss Graham Fenton is the return from injury of Brian Carr, Jack Donnison and Michael McKeown. His only absentee is Dean Walker with a broken hand.
Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales is hoping for a repeat of the performance which the Wearsiders showed a month ago when they visit leaders West Auckland.
“I thought we played really well and I’m looking for the same response,” said Swales, who is set to give a debut to Clayton Davis, signed from Washington.
Steve Callen has completed a ban and Gavin Barton is fully fit, but Swales has fitness concerns for Gary Wood, Lewis Wood, Ross Preston and Joe Hughes.
Jarrow Roofing are also doing well after returning to Division One this season and ahead of the home fixture with Celtic Nation, are in sixth position.
A huge boost for manager Richie McLoughlin is the availability of ace striker John Campbell, who is proving to be one of the best signings of the season following his move from West Auckland.
Also back are Keiran Whitehead, Corey Barnes and Jamie Marshall but Shaun Vipond is given only a 50/50 chance of featuring.
Newcastle Benfield manager Steve Bowey had an operation on his toe on Wednesday and is ruled out for the visit to Bishop Auckland.
With his exception, the Tynesiders name their first-choice squad which includes the returning Andy Leeson.
Dunston UTS could go top if they defeat Guisborough Town in what will be a precursor of next week’s FA Carlsberg Vase tie which will also be staged at the UTS Stadium.
Manager Billy Irwin misses injured pair Liam McAndrew and Craig Hodgson and Dale Burrell is a doubt, but goalkeeper Liam Connell has completed his ban.
Ashington are at Newton Aycliffe where they will undoubtedly miss goal-scoring predator Marc Walton, but midfielder Kyle Downey comes into the plans of manager Gary Middleton.
Bedlington Terriers host West Allotment Celtic in the Tyneside derby and once again boss Ian Skinner reports that several players are definitely sidelined.
Goalkeeper Sean McCafferty, Craig Hindmarsh, Dylan Williamson, Colin Morton and Jack Walker are ruled out.
In addition, James Harmison, Stephen Little, Keelan Nellis and Sam Walton were this week all receiving treatment.