Ryhope CW will aim to close in on South Shields’ six-point cushion when they entertain sixth-bottom Crook Town in Division Two tomorrow.
Manager Gary Pearson again has club captain Phil Hall on the injured list and Lee Chapman will require a late fitness test – but Richard Hodgson comes in.
Team Northumbria are third before tackling South Shields, who have signed regular marksman Martyn Coleman from Penrith. He scored twice making his debut against Hebburn Town on Tuesday night.
Simon Heptinstall, meanwhile, has joined Newcastle Benfield.
Shields welcome back Julio Arca and Leepaul Scroggins from suspension, Lewis Galpin has resumed light training after suffering a broken leg, but is not yet in contention to return.
Billingham Synthonia are up to fourth and will fancy their chances against out-of-sorts Birtley Town, especially as Mattie Osmond and Jamie Barton line up in a full-strength squad.
Chester-le-Street are down to fifth but only three points outside the promotion zone. The Cestrians have home advantage over Thornaby and manager Colin Wake is looking for an immediate return to winning form after being held to a draw by lowly Esh Winning last Saturday.
Aidan Ames and Mark Peck are definitely ruled out, while Lee Mole faces a late check on his fitness.
Easington Colliery – whose scheduled home game against Billingham Town last night was postponed – will hand a first outing to striker Stephen Bogie, signed from Sunderland RCA, at Brandon United.
Bryan Norton, Jack Devlin and Joe Kerridge return, but Mark Robinson faces a fitness test. He has been out for a month after having an appendix operation.