Silksworth CW secretary David Steele admits that his side face a daunting task in tomorrow’s Monkwearmouth Charity Cup first round tie at home to Jarrow (2pm).
Steele said: “They are riding high with 12 wins, two draws and just one defeat and enjoy a four-point lead at the top of the table.
“We haven’t done too badly ourselves and are fourth, but even so we’ll need to be at the top of our game if we are to go through.”
The Colliers, beaten by Coxhoe Athletic in midweek, have already made their exit from two cup competitions and Steele is anxious to bring a trophy home.
He added: “We won the Durham Trophy two seasons ago, which was the first success we’d enjoyed for many, many years. It would be nice to see some more silverware come our way.”
Leading scorer Stephen Moody is expected to have recovered from injury to spearhead the attack and definitely back are Dean Randall and Andrew Donnelly.
Rob Hall, though, is away and Silksworth have serious concerns for Daley Clarke, whose injury could keep him out.
Jarrow have surprised the pundits by staying the pace. Last season they were also-rans, but consistently good defensive performances have taken them into pole position from almost day one.
Goalkeeper Gary Frater has rejoined Jarrow to further bolster their ambitions, with fellow new signings Callum Smith and Brian Johnson also on board.
Jarrow also hope to make another signing ahead of kick-off, but Grant Pressling is out injured.
Darren Morton and Kris Allen are back in training following lengthy absences.
Seaham Red Star Reserves and Sunderland West End clash at Seaham Town Park in the first round of the Total Sport Alan Hood Charity Cup (2pm).
With just one point separating the pair, a close outcome is anticipated.
Star manager Kevin Dixon hopes that his side can convert into goals some of the many chances they are regularly creating.
He said: “We have played well but should have scored more than the 23 goals we’ve managed in 16 games.”
He welcomes back Paul Henderson, Jordan Thompson and Marc Ruddick, but Shaun Fletch and Jonny Hodgson are ruled out through injury while striker Michael Bulmer is banned.
West End have not managed to replicate the form they showed last season which took them to the brink of the championship.
Manager Barry Cook is looking for a good run in the competition and is pleased to have Layton Chapman back from a one-match ban, but Stephen Lax is banned.
There are two ties in the first round of the TWR Sunderland Shipowners’ Cup.
Boldon CA visit Stokesley SC and manager Paul Mossa is forced to go without eight players. In addition to the seven who have been out in recent games, he now has last season’s leading scorer Adam Bell on the injury list, with a foot injury sustained last week.
“I’m trying to bring in replacements and maybe some of our juniors will be promoted and help out, “ reported Mossa, who has taken the South Tynesiders into the top six.
Hartlepool, whose midweek fixture was abandoned at half-time following a floodlight failure at Stokesley SC, travel to struggling Harton and Westoe confident they can progress.
Their chances are considerably boosted by the return of a quartet of players, with John Stephenson, Craig Wetherill, Luke Naylor and Cameron Gordon all pencilled into a strong squad.
Harton are the only side yet to win and 13 games have yielded just a couple of points. They’ve managed a mere 19 goals and conceded 54, more than any other team.
Ashbrooke Belford House make the long journey into Cumbria to meet Cleator Moor Celtic in the league (2.30pm).
David Halliday is expected to make his debut after being signed from Harton and Westoe.
Shaun Fisk, Adam Hopps and Aaron Croft also come into contention, but Nathan Brown and Michael Jacob (holidays), Kyle Sumner (work) and Dan Lowson (ankle injury) miss out. Hosts Cleator have Rhys Little and Darren Little suspended.
Coxhoe Athletic could go third if they win at Leam Rangers, where Ross Morrow will make his comeback from suspension.
The Beechfield Park side cannot name David Gibson or Neil Charlton, while Chris Batter and Aaron Sheriff are rated doubtful.
Leam bring in Liam McVicar and Ryan Moore to give manager Peter Bryson a strong squad from which to choose.
Darlington 1883 Reserves, formerly known as Horden CW, could play their first game on the new 4G pitch at Darlington next week, but before then are away to Prudhoe Town.
With table-topping Jarrow on cup duty, nearest rivals Redcar Athletic and Richmond Town will be looking to make up ground on the leaders.
Redcar are second and will close the gap to a single point if they win at Windscale.
The Seasiders, though, are forced to field a weakened squad with a number of players unable to make the early start. David Abel, however, is included in the 14-man squad.
Richmond Town lie third, nine points behind Jarrow with a game in hand.
They have home advantage against Annfield Plain and, although strikers Colin Anderson and Scott Ryan come into contention, the Yorkshiremen can’t call upon Connor Lyon, Sean Radford or Lee White.