Mark Carruthers' Non-League Preview: What's in store during this weekend's non league action?
What’s in store in this weekend’s non-league action?
Silksworth CW manager Jamie Cole is looking for an early Christmas present when his side host Durham Corinthians this weekend.
Both sides head into the game sat in the top seven of the table with Cole’s men level on points with their fifth-placed visitors.
The Silksworth is preparing for a difficult challenge against a Corinthians side that are searching for a fourth consecutive win in all competitions.
He told The Echo: “It’s a tough game for us.
“That is why we are all looking for the same attitude we showed in the win against West Auckland Tunns last weekend.
Durham are in and around us in the table, so picking up three points would be a nice early Christmas present for us all.”
Cole confirmed he has received a double blow ahead of the game as in-form duo Josh Winthrop and Joe Jones have been ruled out with injuries.
However, he will still be able to name an 18-man squad with the return of Liam Mulvain.
The Wearside League weekend gets underway on Friday night when Shotton Colliery host Annfield Plain at the Recreational Ground.
Farringdon Detached will hope to keep up the pressure on the top two clubs by claiming a third consecutive league win when they host Norton and Stockton Ancients.
That win could be essential with the top two sides both facing winnable home fixtures against sides sat at the bottom of the table.
Leaders Chester-le-Street United entertain bottom of the table Coxhoe Athletic and second placed Darlington Town take on Shildon Reserves at the Eastbourne Sports Complex.
One of the two remaining Durham Trophy quarter-final ties also take place on Saturday after last weekend’s fixtures were washed out by the weather.
FC Hartlepool are without Matty Gardner, Kalon Lloyd, Paul Donaghy and Luke Naylor for their home tie against Wearside League rivals Gateshead Leam Rangers.
Wolviston travel to Northern League club Ryhope CW without defensive duo Joe Joyce and Anth Cowie after they suffered respective knee and ankle injuries.
Full-back Robbie Gratton will also miss out as he is unavailable and forward Nathan Bayes is suspended.
Northern League Division One
Seaham Red Star manager Mark Collingwood has been forced into the loan market after his squad was decimated by injury and suspension.
With several key players missing Saturday’s home game against Billingham Town, the Red Star boss has brought in three new faces to help his depleted side.
Carl Taylor and Jamie Clark have joined on a 28-day loans from Hebburn Town and Blyth Spartans respectively and South Shields youngster Callum Dobson has also joined on a temporary deal.
Colingwood also confirmed Hebburn midfielder Mark McLeod has extended his loan by a further month.
Ahead of the game, he told The Echo: “I am confident going into most weeks - but we are really going through the mill at the moment.
“Last week changed when Danny Sayer went off injured with a coward’s challenge and the lad only got a yellow card.
“We have lost Danny, it could be a long-term injury and we have no Andrew Jennison, Liam Hodgson, Thomas Bott, Adam Lennox or Liam Heywood.
“So we’ve had to bring players in.”
Whitley Bay will hope to bounce back from two heavy defeats when they visit Northallerton Town and Newton Aycliffe can move into the top three with a win at Crook Town.
Whickham and West Auckland Town are both looking to move on from defeats when they meet at the Glebe Sports Ground.
New signing Sam Webster will be in the Guisborough Town squad as they travel to West Allotment Celtic after he joined the Priorymen from Redcar Town
Ryhope CW are in Durham Challenge Cup action after their scheduled league meeting with Penrith was postponed to allow the home tie against Wearside League club Wolviston.
Elsewhere on Saturday, four Northern League clubs will hope to continue on the Road to Wembley as the FA Vase reaches its third round stage.
There is an all-North East tie at Sam Smith’s Park as Newcastle Benfield entertain Consett.
North Shields and Billingham Synthonia both face away ties with the Robins travelling the Humberside to take on Barton Town and Synners facing North West Counties League side Wythenshawe Amateurs.
Northern League Division Two
Sunderland West End joint-manager Steven Stewart wants his side to remain professional when they visit bottom of the table Durham City on Saturday.
The Citizens have taken just one point from their 21 league games and conceded double figures for the fourth time this season in last weekend’s 10-0 defeat at Jarrow.
West End’s form is nowhere near as poor as their hosts - but they are looking to end a difficult spell when they visit Hall Lane.
A last-gasp equaliser by Boldon CA’s Sean Caffrey extended their run without a win to six games last weekend - and Stewart is hoping to return to form ahead of two home fixtures either side of the Christmas break following on from Saturday’s game.
He said: “I think we just have to do the job against Durham - but that’s the same no matter who you are playing, whether they are top, middle of bottom in the table.
“We thought we played well in our last game and the officials didn’t help us.
“We have been in good form at home and we have a couple of games coming up there so we will look to make the most of them and Saturday’s game against Durham.”
James Armstrong has left West End to join Northern Premier League club Pickering Town but Brad Forster will be available once again after serving a ban.
Boldon CA manager David Crumbie confirmed midfielder Kris Allen is the only absentee from his squad for their visit to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
Jarrow midfielder Lewis Leech will return to their squad for the trip to Redcar Town and Luke Page will miss Easington Colliery’s home game against Bedlington Terriers as he starts his comeback from the broken leg he suffered at Blyth Town last weekend.
Damien Stevens will be available for Birtley Town as they face local rivals Washington and Horden CW are without key midfielder Olly Hotchkiss for their visit to Brandon United.
Table toppers Heaton Stannington are targeting a third win in a row when they host Esh Winning and fellow promotion contenders Newcastle University entertain Blyth Town.
Willington will have to be at their best as they look to stretch their unbeaten run to a fourth game when they travel to Cumbria to take on Carlisle City.