SUNDERLAND RCA face another stiff challenge tonight when they line up against sixth-top Ashington, in a crucial STL Northern League First Division game at Woodhorn Lane.
Neil Hixon’s men are six points ahead of Spennymoor Town, who they meet at the Brewery Field on Saturday.
Before then though, Hixon will be anxious for his team to take all three points from the Colliers, who are themselves in good form.
Hixon is expected to have a full squad available, including the returning Andrew Cuthbertson.
Ashington, who aim to finish in the top six, are not so fortunate. A leg injury will keep Phil Bell sidelined for the remaining matches and also missing tonight is the suspended Andrew Dugdale. Michael Tait will undergo a late check on his fitness.
Spennymoor Town appear to have an easier task at relegation-threatened Jarrow Roofing, who are in the bottom three with just four games to play.
Moors miss Craig Willey, Gavin Cogden and Adam Johnson, but Lewis Dodds has completed a ban.
In Division Two, Chester-le-Street travel to Whitehaven and will hand debuts to Aaron Croft, signed from Jarrow Roofing, and Brad Thompson. He has been playing in local football.
Luke Wilson, Jack Honour and John Gibbons are added to the squad but Chris Rooks, Johnny Evans and Luke Proctor are ruled out.
Dunston UTS consolidated fourth place in the First Division last night and are now eight points behind leaders Sunderland RCA with five games in hand.
The Tynesiders showed no after effects from a gruelling FA Carlsberg Vase semi-final at the weekend and comfortably won 3-0 against Billingham Town.
Team Nothumbria are the first side to reach the semi-finals of the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup after beating Billingham Synthonia 3-1.