Silksworth CW face another crunch home clash when leaders Jarrow visit Silksworth Welfare Park tomorrow (2pm).
Andy Stobbart’s men have taken on the second and third-top sides in their last two home matches, making life difficult for both Richmond Town and Redcar Athletic, but going down 3-0 and 1-0 respectively.
Now Jarrow, with 17 wins in 21 league games, will be an even trickier task.
But James Cook is available again after his three-match ban, and goalkeeper Joe Clayton returns, giving manager Stobbart a tough decision to make.
Philip Smurthwaite was signed from local football and impressed in goal last week against Redcar Athletic.
Key striker Steven Moody also returns, but David Stevens is out long-term with injury. Liam Gill and Brandon Alderson are included in the squad.
Jarrow have Grant Pressling out injured, while Max Kirkham and Brian Johnson are unavailable.
Josh Allen, Micky Turnbull, Peter Kane, Jonny Hirst, Micky Turnbull and Callum Smith are all expected to return after missing last week’s win at Windscale.
Boss Dave Bell said: “We are aware of the strength of the Silksworth team, having already played them twice this season.
“They beat us 4-1 in a cup game recently away and we followed it up with a hard fought 3-1 at home. They are a good side and we need to perform really well to get anything out of the game.
“Silksworth are having a really good season and this game poses a real challenge for us. We hope to follow on from last week’s result away to Windscale. The lads were excellent last week and their work rate superb, and we know that we need the same for this game.”
Sunderland West End have a full squad available for their visit to second-placed Richmond Town, excepting captain Brad Forster, who starts a five-match ban.
Manager Barry Cook said: “Hopefully we will start getting the results our performances deserve after the last few games.
“We are still trying to add to the squad and welcome back Lee Smith.”
Coach Anthony Nelson added: “Lee Burrell is looking to make his debut in goal, Niall Thubron is looking to start at centre-half and Layton Chapman in midfield.
“Richmond are in really good form at present we will find it hard to get a result down there, but will give it a good go.”
The home side are without Simon Pinkney, who misses out after damaging knee ligaments in the North Riding Cup defeat at Boro Rangers last weekend.
Midfielder Kalumn Holbrook is doubtful after injuring his ankle in the same game, but Josh Knox, Sam Grainger, Dan Caisley and Colin Anderson all return after missing out last weekend due to illness.
Seaham Red Star Reserves have a long trip to Windscale and the Cumbrians will keep faith with Brian Miller in goal, even though club captain James Dolan is fit again.
Long-term absentee Matt Metcalf looks like he is out until the New Year, but midfielder Sean Pollen will return soon. Darren Donald may be added to the Windscale squad, after missing last week’s game through illness.
Boldon CA are at Redcar Athletic, who have have Sam Webster, James Swann, Anthony Jones, Luke Woodall and David Abel all returning to the squad.
Peter Passman, Chris Atkinson and 17-year-old full -back Joshua Cooper, who was man of the match in last week’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Silksworth CW, could be difficult to shift, after cementing their places with solid performances over the past three games.
Boldon secretary Kevin Oliver said: “Daniel Nolan and Shaun Carroll are available after being off with work commitments, but Michael Gray is out because of work commitments.
“Manager Paul Mossa is bringing two 17-year-olds into the squad, as captain Jack Lawton is still out with a foot injury, and he is looking to see a specialist and expecting to be back after Christmas.”
Jonny Gage will wear the captain’s armband and Oliver added: “It’s going to be a hard game at Redcar Athletic - they are classed as one of the teams to be promoted. We’re both in the top five and could do with the points.”
Harton & Westoe will be without striker Brodie Simpson at Hartlepool, as he completes a three-game suspension. Midfielder Liam Wilkinson is unavailable, while they have slight concerns over defenders Reece Moore and Duncan O’Brien, who will both be assessed before the game.
On a brighter note, defender Wess Brown returns, as well as Dan Keith and Dominic Solman, who both missed last weeks game.
Pool have Joe Osbourne and Jonny Murray back.
Ashbrooke Belford House have a week off, while Annfield Plain host Cleator Moor, Leam Rangers welcome Prudhoe Town and Darlington 1883 Reserves head to Wolviston.