Seaham Red Star keeper Shaun Newbrook faces a tough test against title-chasing South Shields as he reaches a landmark for the club tonight.
Newbrook, Star’s only ever present this season, should make his 223rd appearance for the side, taking him to fifth in the list of all-time appearances for the 43-year-old club.
The management team of Chris McCabe and Paul Johnson will select from a full squad at the Ferguson Motor Repairs Stadium.
Robbie Bird and David Scorer return following their suspensions, while ark Bertram, a recent signing from Durham City, could make his debut.
South Shields are sure to attract a big crowd at Seaham, who only lost 2-1 away to the Mariners early in the season.
Shields secretary Philip Reay said: “We have no new injury worries, but Lewis Storey, who has been a long-term injury absentee, is still a few weeks away from starting training. Hopefully we’ll have a full squad to select from.
“We’re looking forward to going there. Seaham’s pitch is one of the better surfaces in the Northern League. which will help our side. It’s also a good draining pitch, so hopefully there’ll be no problems if it rains.”
Last night, Easington Colliery missed the chance to go joint top of the Second Divisiont.
Victory over visitors Tow Law Town would have taken Paul Frame’s men level on points with the leading three teams – Team Northumbria, Stockton Town and Durham City – but they had to settle for a point in a fairly drab goalless game.
The best chance fell to Colliery, when Bryan Norton attempted to chip goalkeeper Michael Allan, who recovered to make the save.
Easington, now unbeaten in 11 league games, visit Blyth Town tomorrow.
Blyth have signed ex-Newcastle United academy left-back Adam Laidler, 20.
Manager Mick Connor said: “At his first training session, I knew he would be a great fit within the squad. He brings technical skills to his game, as well as having loads of pace and excellent ability and he has already been an asset to the team’s dynamic in recent games.”
Willington head north to Alnwick Town in good spirits following their 5-0 midweek victory at Darlington RA, which moved them nine points clear of the bottom two.
Secretary Geoff Siddle said: “At this point, we have a full squad available. We had a good win in midweek, so we’re going into this game full of confidence. We had a run of bad results, so just want to build on the midweek win.”
Alnwick manager Richard Mitchell misses only Tony Brown, to work commitments.
He said: “We need to start becoming more consistent. We’ve had three good performances since I’ve come in, so want to build on that.”
Crook Town should have a fully fit squad available for their Millfield crunch against Darlington RA in the battle of third-bottom and second-bottom.
Crook lead by six points, with two games in hand, so victory tomorrow would be massive in easing their fears of the drop.
Bottom club Esh Winning face a tough task against second-top Stockton Town,
Esh manager Tony Boakes said: “We are missing Jack Vaulks, who’s away with the County Under-18s, and Jonny Yip is still missing. Hopefully we should have Mark Bailes and Lee Best available.”
Stockton have goalkeeper Michael Arthur returning from holiday, giving manager Michael Dunwell a full squad to choose from.
Durham City host improving Bedlington Terriers at Consett.
Brandon United travel to on-form, free-scoring Billingham Town, who have won their last six games and progressed to the FA Vase’s last 32.
United are without Lewis Martin and Shane Todd, with Dan Pearson and Joe Calvert also absent. However, Kyle Wren, Kieran Duffy-Weekes and Reece Marshall return to the squad.
Billingham Synthonia face a very difficult trip to seventh-top Hebburn Town and are without Joe Hillerby (ankle), though Chay Liddle returns to the squad.
Hebburn manager Scott Oliver said: “We have a striker problem with only Channon North available. Jason Blackburn (suspended), James Davidson (holiday), Glen Hargrave (working) and Will Smith (groin injury) are all missing.
“We are hoping Craig Malley will be fit as we are a bit light at right-back, although Kris Summers was superb there last Saturday at Easington.”
Dan Reeves will again partner North, after managing an hour on his return last week.
Ian Bickerstaff is expected to shrug off a sore ankle to play, while Mick Watson returns after suffering mild concussion in the recent shock defeat to Esh Winning.
Oliver added: “It’s a must-win game. We are both up there near the top, and if we have any aspirations about challenging the top three, we must get the three points.”\\\