SUNDERLAND West End, who are in with a very good chance of finishing fourth top in the Wearside League, face one of their stiffest challenges of the season tonight when they meet championship contenders Richmond Town.
A blow to the Wearsiders’ chances is the absence of goalkeeper Neil Bussey, who is banned, but Dave Clark and Gavin Dorward could play a part at some stage.
West End are fourth, 10 points behind the Yorkshiremen who are gunning for the top. Richmond became the first side to score 100 goals this season when they put six past Annfield Plain at the weekend.
Richmond have a long absentee list which resulted in manager Gavin Newall having to play for the first time on Saturday.
Tonight, Chris Pattison, Gary Shardha, Bradley Wood, Richard Thompson, Simon Pinkney and brothers Ben and Liam Darville are all sidelined.
While West End are looking towards the top, neighbours Silksworth Rangers languish at the bottom and look likely to end with the wooden spoon.
They have managed just 18 points from 37 games and with five to play, trail Annfield Plain by 10 points.
Tonight, Rangers host in-form Prudhoe Town and add James Hepinstall, Carl Burns and Nicky Smith to their squad.
Prudhoe have moved into eighth place on the back of some excellent results in recent weeks and they’ve also reached the finals of the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup and Wearside League Cup.
They visit Wearside unable to name Jamie Henderson, Gavin Lisle or Darren Turnbull, who are working.
Leaders Willington are without a fixture giving second top Stockton Town the chance to reduce a 10 point deficit.
The Teessiders are without Kallum Hannah and Daniel O’Brien but Tom Atkinson comes into a 20-man squad at Easington Colliery.
Third-bottom Coxhoe Athletic are at Gateshead Leam Rangers missing Neil Charlton because of work commitments. Stephen Ferguson, meanwhile, begins a three match ban.
The Tynesiders are looking to bounce back following two defeats but with some players playing five times a week they are likely to field a weakened line-up.
Redcar Athlete will be playing their 10th game in less than three weeks when they have home advantage over Annfield Plain.
Mike Heerin and Matty Graham are promoted from the Reserves to supplement the squad, which includes the retuning Shaun Taylor and goalkeeper Dan Lynas.
Wolviston entertain Cleator Moor Celtic with Carl Kennedy, Ryan Foster and Daryl Tomlinson expected to be involved.