IT’S bottom-versus-top when Silksworth Rangers lock horns with local rivals Ryhope CW tomorrow.
The hosts have struggled during their first season in the league whereas Ryhope, who won the championship and the three domestic cup competitions last time, continue to go from strength to strength.
Victory in midweek propelled them to the top of the table and eight straight wins illustrates the size of Silksworth’s task.
Manager Keith Stafford has signed John Turvey and Paul Harbisher as he looks to add experience to a young squad.
Although John Butler, Paul Taylor, Mark Catcheside, James Dunn and Nathan O’Neil are all ruled out, Ryhope’s Martin Swales still boasts a formidable squad which includes the returning Phil Hogg and Grant Bulmer.
Sunderland West End will definitely stage their fixture with Wolviston at Ford Quarry but joint manager Steve Patton has selection problems.
Striker John Nicholson, signed from local football, is pencilled in for his debut and goalkeeper Scott Young, Lloyd Conlin and Gavin Dorword are also available.
Michael McCabe though will need a late check on his fitness while Luke Sanders, John Coomber and Dave Sanderson are absentees.
Ashbrooke Belford House are at Stockton Town and boss Tommy Dobbing reports that Ryan Steele is sidelined through injury.
He is optimistic that Martin Deacon, Elliott Moan and Michael Charlton will be able to play.
The Wearsiders face a daunting task since Stockton are buoyant after scoring five times against second-top Redcar Athletic last Saturday.
Although joint leading scorer David Johnson is out with a knee injury, the Teessiders welcome the return of captain Mattie Hyson, Andy Westwood and Scott Meehan to an almost full-strength squad.
Peterlee Town host Cleator Moor Celtic and manager Don Naylor cannot name Andy Collier but anticipates Daz Major and Scott Brown making the line-up.
Boldon CA have Stephen Usher and David Hopper available against Prudhoe Town, who are without suspended pair Scott Ormston and Karl Connon.
Hartlepool are away to Annfield Plain, while Gateshead Leam Rangers travel to Jarrow.