Ryhope CW boss Gary Pearson will have his side in confident mood for tomorrow’s First Division crunch clash at Dunston UTS.
Ryhope, fresh from an excellent FA Vase victory, will look to extend the Tynesiders’ dismal home record of eight successive defeats this term.
Pearson, whose fourth-bottom side need the points to stay clear of the relegation zone, said: “We’re taking every game as it comes. Dunston have been struggling of late, so it could be a good time or a bad time to play them.
“Goalkeeper Chris Rookes is struggling with a knee injury, but Harvey Saunders should be returning after being out with a collar bone injury.
“Chris Bell, on loan from Shildon, is available for the weekend.
Coach Stuart Purvis added: “We’re on the back of two good wins, and hopefully we can take that into the league games.”
It will be a first league match for new Dunston UTS boss Chris Swailes. He was part of the team’s FA Vase-winning side in 2012 and has joined from Morpeth Town to replace the long-serving Billy Irwin.
Steve Bowey is his assistant manager.
Sunderland RCA miss four players for their attractive home clash with reviving Washington at Meadow Park.
Chris Rookes, Lee Chapman, Matty Weirs and Matty Stephenson all miss out, but Chris Trewick returns to the squad.
Washington chairman Derek Armstrong said: “Matthew Waters and Lewis Galpin are away on holiday and suspension respectively. Danni Lay may be returning from injury, and we should see the return of first-team keeper Dale Connor.
“We were five games unbeaten so disappointed with our midweek result (a 3-1 Durham Challenge Cup defeat to Chester-le-Street).
“Hopefully manager Neil Hixon will bring a couple of new signings in, but he’s gradually forming a settled side.”
Seaham Red Star will be looking to keep in touch with the leaders, when they travel to Ashington.
But Chris McCabe’s men are without Nicky Kane (holiday), while Lee Kerr is suspended.
Summer signing Luke Proctor is a possible return after his ankle injury and Lee Hetherington could also start after missing last week through injury. New signing Atehom Landry is included in the squad.
Shildon are 18 points behind leaders North Shields, with five games in hand, ahead of their trip to Marske United.
Assistant manager Stuart Niven said: “We’re at full strength. It’s a tough game for us and we will expect nothing but a difficult game and it will be full blooded.”
Second-placed South Shields travel to Bishop Auckland and secretary Philip Reay said: “Gavin Cogdon is likely to be out for 3-4 weeks after picking up an injury last Saturday. Other than that, we are at full strength.”
Bottom club Chester-le-Street travel to fellow strugglers Guisborough, with both teams on nine points from 16 games.
The Cestrians have injury concerns over Michael Graver, Calum Johnston, Dan Hepplewhite, Michael Hepplewhite and Cameron Nichol and all five players, will have fitness tests ahead of kick-off.
West Auckland, fighting to steer clear of the drop zone, entertain Penrith.