In Division Two of the Ebac Northern League, second-top South Shields expect another bumper crowd for their game with Ryton and Crawcrook Albion tomorrow.
Since returning to Mariners Park following a spell at Peterlee, the Shieldsmen are averaging attendances of 471 – which is by far and away the highest figure. The next best is Heaton Stannington’s 145.
David Foley, who had been out for six weeks, came through unscathed when he made his comeback against Ryhope CW on Tuesday night and manager Jon King will also include former Sunderland player Julio Arca.
Leaders Chester-le-Street visit fifth-top Easington Colliery minus Michael Graver and boss Colin Wake is expecting a really tough game.
Wake said: “They have a good energetic squad and we’ll have to be at our best to get anything.” The Colliers have done well since moving up from the Wearside League and are just three points outside the last promotion place.
Joe Kerridge (18) was formerly with Newcastle Youths and is set to make a third appearance after scoring on his debut last week and twice in last night’s defeat to Crook. Aidan Goodie is fully fit and could be on the bench alongside Dan Reeves.
Gary Pearson’s Ryhope CW host Heaton Stannington in an attractive clash.
* Whitley Bay will fly the Northern League flag when they host Chorley from National League North in the FA Cup third qualifying round.
Manager Paddy Atkinson is hoping for a bumper 1,000+ crowd to cheer on his side, who will be attempting to upset the form book in a big way.
Bay, though, miss banned pair Liam Hudson and Michael Williamson, while Michael Bell is ineligible having played for Ashington in a previous round.