Last season, Sunderland West End challenged for the championship for most of the campaign before finally conceding to Stockton Town.
They are again determined to be in the race for honours, but the Ford Quarry men have taken just three points from their first two games – not the start they craved.
Now under the managerment of Barry Cook and George McCain, West End lost to Boldon CA on opening day, but made amends by beating Prudhoe 4-2 in midweek.
Tomorrow, they travel into Cumbria to meet new boys Windscale in the knowledge that a win will lift them into the top six.
Windscale cannot name either Darren Donald or Ray Sempill and there are doubts surrounding Bradley Dryden and Shaun Pollen. Coming in are Matt Metcalfe and Jack Harrison.
With most sides involved in the Total Sport Alan Hood Charity Cup, only one other league fixture is scheduled and Ashbrooke Belford House are also in Cumbria.
They go to Cleator Moor Celtic whose only game so far resulted in a narrow defeat to new boys South Shields Reserves. Ashbrooke recovered well from their opening drubbing at Horden CW to beat Boldon CA, after trailing, in midweek.
Horden overcame off-the-field problems last season and have made a good start with four points from their first two fixtures.
They look to be in with a chance of progressing in the Alan Hood Cup when they line up against Leam Rangers at the Gateshead outfit Hill Top ground.
Three games in a week have taken their toll on Leam, who could be forced to go without James Wood, Anthony Brewis and Brodie Simpson. Fortunately, Anth Huddart has completed a three-match ban and also back are Matthew Frost, David Halliday and Andy Hall.
Silksworth CW, who have scored eight times in three games, will attempt to see off visitors Harton and Westoe.
The Colliers await news on the availability of one of two players before finalising their line-up, but Harton go into the tie understrength.
Neil Crammon and Adam Smith are attending a wedding, work commitments sideline Darren Wann and Jak Quantrill picked up a slight knee injury against Prudhoe Town on Monday and he too is out.
Coxhoe Athletic have made a flying start, with three wins out of three, and Prudhoe Town, who have leaked 11 goals, could find it difficult in their cup clash.
Top goalscorer Adam Bell is ruled out for Boldon CA, who entertain out-of-form Hartlepool, who have already conceded 10 goals.
Another striker, James Pickering, is also unavailable, but Boldon manager Paul Mossa lines up newcomer Jack Young.
Redcar Athletic – among the title favourites – have taken six points from two games and, with 12 strikes, are the leading scorers.
They host South Shields Reserves pleased that newcomers Anthony Jones, Bryan Stewart and Luke Johnson all scored on their debuts last week. The trio could prove difficult for the visitors defence to handle.
The Mariners’ manager, Kevin Bolam, reports that he has a full pool of players at his disposal, including goalkeeper Curtis Richardson, who returns after missing the last game.
Wolviston struggled too near the bottom for most of last season and have again made a poor start, losing all three games.
Just as worrying is the fact they have leaked no fewer than 14 goals and they’ll have to tighten up at the back if they are to progress at the expense of Stokesley SC.
Wolviston bring in club skipper and central defender Shaun Gregory, together with another back-four player, Andrew McGirr, while striker Ryan Brown will hope to pass a fitness check.
Jarrow face the long trek into North Yorkshire for their tie with Richmond Town, who line up without Ben Darville and Wayne Gredziak but Mark Edzes, Kalumn Holbrook and Jason Newall come into contention for starting places.
Seaham Red Star Reserves, with one win and a defeat from two games, look to be in with a chance of progressing when Annfield Plain visit Seaham Town Park.