ASHBROOKE Belford House, who are still in with a chance of finishing in the top six, face a difficult task tomorrow when they tackle second-top Horden CW at Welfare Park.
Although the Colliers are all but mathematically out of the race for the championship, they are going full-steam ahead to finish as runners-up to champions-elect Stockton Town.
We didn’t have a game last week, which gave us breathing space to clear up one or two injuriesKeith Brown
Ashbrooke’s cause isn’t helped with the news from joint manager Asa Dobbing that a quintet of players are ruled out.
Work commitments rule out Callum Hodgson and Paul Grainger, Kieron Stoke has a broken foot, Adam Frame is banned while Brett Wilson is away.
Fortunately, David Scott and Gary Thompson can play, but Dobbing accepts it will not be easy against high-flying opponents.
Horden boss Keith Brown reports a clean bill of health. He said: “We didn’t have a game last week, which gave us breathing space to clear up one or two injuries.
“Paul Moss, Martin Fowler and Michael Pattison are now fully fit and are added to the squad.”
Sunderland West End’s ambition is to make it into the top five and they, too, could find the going tough against Redcar Athletic at Ford Quarry.
The Seasiders are one place and three points ahead of West End, who are currently seventh.
The visitors welcome back leading scorer Adam Preston and also named are Lee Blackburn, Alex Anderson and Jamie Lee.
After taking Stockton Town to the wire on Wednesday, Silksworth CW will be more confident going into their fixture with Spennymoor Town Reserves at Coxhoe.
This will be the third meeting between the teams this season with honours even.
A triple blow for the Colliers is the unavailability of top-scorer Liam Gill, James Hepinstall and Leon Symonds, but Rob Hall and Adam Storey are back. Scott Cameron also includes newcomer Kieron Moan, who made his debut from the bench last Saturday.
Moors go without injured trio David Atkinson, Connor Dunlavey and Ross Hunter and another absentee is Philip Best. Neil Charlton is in contention as Moors look to improve on a mid-table rating.
Easington Colliery slipped down to fourth when Cleator Moor Celtic won in midweek, but the Colliers are aiming to pip both Celtic and Horden into second place, but missing at Whitehaven is Michael Noble, who recently re-signed for the club, having spent some time out of Saturday football.
Bryan Norton, Chris Pearson and Nathan Graham make the trip to Cumbria, but work commitments prevent Adam Drysdale and Ian Redman from travelling.
There’s a local derby at Perth Green where Jarrow and Boldon CA will lock horns.
The hosts line up Peter Kane, Darren Morton and Steven Graham, but injury rules out Daryl Turnbull.
Boldon CA manager Jason Jones will need to make at least one change in his defence after transferring David Halliday to Sunderland West End.
Harton and Westoe have moved up to eighth from bottom following a decent run of form which they are favourites to extend at the expense of out-of-sorts Seaton Carew.
Defender and team captain Martin Nugent is back together with strikers Jamie Lawson and Kris Goss, who could well exploit Seaton’s defensive frailties.
The Seasiders are the only team to have conceded three figures having leaked 109 goals in 29 games.
Manager Mark Loynes misses goalkeeper Nick Christodoulou and Peter Gale will deputise.
Bottom of the table Annfield Plain are at Richmond Town and manager Keith Sheardown is confident of including Adam Goodyear, Liam Radbourne, Henry Allen, Jonathon Bone, Chris Lamb and Damien Bone, but has injury concerns for Ross Nicholson (hamstring) and John Paul Quinn (thigh).
Michael Ingram is still out with broken ribs and Richmond boss Chris Lax will have to assess the fitness of Mark Sims before finalising his squad.
Wolviston are one place and a point ahead of Annfield Plain going into their game with Hartlepool at Metcalfe Park.
Defender Nick Robinson, midfielder Nathan Summersgill and sweeper Luke Bennington come into the frame while Pools could name Paul Playfor who has been sidelined for two months with a knee injury.