Ryhope CW are in good spirits for their daunting Division One clash at home to table-topping North Shields.
Gary Pearson’s men go into the game on the back of 15 goals in the last four games, but they are still chasing an elusive first home victory of the season in all competitions, following four draws and a defeat.
They definitely miss injured trio Matty Stephenson, Harvey Saunders and Elliott Woods, who are all injured.
Ryan Graham is working and midfielders Simon Ord and Nathan O’Neill require late fitness tests. Centre-back Leon Ryan and Chris Trewick return to the squad.
On-song Seaham Red Star, with eight wins in nine games, scoring 35 goals in a magnificent run, host Whitley Bay and include experienced striker Warren Byrne, who has joined on a two-month loan from South Shields.
Striker David Paul returned from holiday to score in Wednesday’s epic 5-4 win at Guisborough, but Luke Proctor is out for six weeks, (ankle ligament problem).
Second-top South Shields are hopeful of welcoming Julio Arca and David Foley back to the fold, when they entertain Sunderland RCA.
However, Louis Storey (broken leg) and Ewan Simpson (ankle injury) will miss the game again, as will Stephen Ramsey (back).
RCA boss Martin Swales will look to stop the rot, with the Meadow Park men down to eighth, following a run of just two points in seven games. John Butler and Ross Preston, recently signed from Washington, will hope to help turn around RCA’s fortunes.
Washington entertain Penrith and boss Neil Hixon aid: “We are assessing a few injuries and we’re hoping to sign a couple of players this week to add to the squad.”
The departures of Preston, Butler and Paul Wardle have been accompanied by signings of RCA midfielder Jonny Wightman, Consett defender Glen Lane and attacker Jordan Jewson (Whitby).
Champions Shildon travel to Dunston UTS.
Dunston’s Liam Thear is still suspended but Malky Morien, Michael Pearson, Dan Capewell and Dale Burrell should recover from injury and Richie Slaughter returns from holiday.
Shildon manager Gary Forrest said: “We’ve got Anthony Bell missing through injury and David Ferguson and Paul Connor need late fitness tests, but, apart from that, everybody else is available.”
Chester-le-Street miss Mark Peck, David Latham and Cameron Nichol for their trip to Marske United, but they have Daniel Bedding returning to the squad.
United have injury doubts over Peter Bulmer and Dan Newby, while Lee Brockbank serves the final game of a three-match ban.
Guisborough Town entertain Consett and the visitors’ boss, Mark Eccles, said: “Dan Hawkins, Matty Slocombe, Mark Eccles, Lewis Teasdale and Danny Craggs are all struggling with injuries.
“We’re just going to go down there and keep doing what we’ve been doing, and hopefully build on the midweek win and hopefully put a bit of a run of wins together.”
Jarrow Roofing have a full squad available, at home to West Auckland.
Joint manager Richie McLoughlin said: “After Tuesday’s defeat to South Shields, I want our players to go out there on Saturday and prove a point.
“I want them to show they are better than West Auckland. Their players will work hard because they have a point to prove to the new managers, and we need to match that ethic for the full 90 minutes.”
Ex-Sunderland defender Darren Williams and Steve Skinner are in charge at West, whose spokesman, Wayne Jones, said: “We are carrying a few injuries, but there is a lot of excitement in the club at the moment,. The new managers have brought a lot of discipline with them. They’re working with the lads and wanting to consolidate the best we can and have a good run next year.”
West have signed Gateshead’s Jack Elliot on loan.
Newton Aycliffe host Newcastle Benfield and official Stephen Cunliffe said: “We should be back to full strength – only Scott Howes is out through suspension. It will be a tough game as Benfield are doing well at the moment, but we’re doing well too.”
“We’ve scored a lot of goals recently so just want to continue the good form.”
Ashington have a few injury problems at home to West Allotment Celtic.
Long-term injury victim Damien Stevens, Scott Blandford, James Taylor, Ryan Bell and Paul Dunn are all ruled out, while Celtic miss Chris Locke and Adam Laidler, who have left the club.