West Auckland manager Gary Forrest wants his defence to tighten up for their home game with North Shields today.

West were knocked off the top of the table in midweek and in the process lost their unbeaten record because of their surprise 4-3 defeat at Bishop Auckland, with West conceding a late winner after they got back to 3-3 with ten men.

“We’re looking for a positive reaction from the players today,” said Forrest. “I was shocked as to how we conceded four goals the other night. It was one of those nights in which nothing went for us.”

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West include midfielder Adam Mitchell, who was signed on a permanent basis from Spennymoor in midweek, in a full strength squad.

Shields are in the bottom half of the table after losing 5-1 to Morpeth in midweek.

Shildon, who are unbeaten in all competitions so far this season, are at bottom of the table Stockton Town, who by contrast have lost all seven of their league games so far.

Shildon player-manager Danny Moore has several injury problems to contend with. Keeper Nick Liversedge, Moore himself, striker Adam Burnicle, defenders Kyle May and Marc Ellison and midfielder Cam Fenton are all struggling, which is a cause for concern with next week’s big FA Cup tie against Altrincham on the horizon.

“This is a must win game for us against a team scrapping for every point,” said Moore.

The FA Vase gets under way with the first qualifying round, and Bishop Auckland have a tricky away tie at Brandon.

Bishops pulled off one of the surprise results of the season so far when they beat West Auckland in midweek, and manager Colin Myers expects to choose from an unchanged squad.

Brandon, who drew at Second Division promotion chasers Northallerton in midweek, welcome back Kris Carr, Kyle Wren, Daniel Pearson and Ryan Burton, but Dan Quine and Luke Thompson are both injured long term.

Tow Law have a local derby against Crook at Ironworks Road. Lawyers are unbeaten so far this season, and are without defender Liam Whitworth, but Lewis Brown and Jake Henderson both return to the squad.

Crook, who have won away twice this season, welcome Ryan Braithwaite back into their squad. Manager Wilf Constantine said; “We’re looking forward to the break from the league, and we’re looking to progress in the Vase.”

In the clash of the RAs, Darlington RA host Harrogate RA from the Northern Counties East League on the back of a 4-0 thumping at home by Tow Law in the league in midweek.

Manager Peter Mulcaster, who includes new signing Phil Caley in his squad, said; “We will be making changes following the dismal performance against Tow Law.” Definitely out though is striker Mark Sims because of suspension.

Harrogate RA are currently sixth from bottom in the Northern Counties East League, and have lost all four of their away games so far.

Northallerton face fellow second division side Alnwick at Ainderby Road.

The two sides face each other again in the league at Alnwick next Saturday, and Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “We will be as always trying to win the game, because if we draw we could finish up playing them three times in a week - at home in the Cup, replay at their place in midweek, then at their place in the league on the Saturday. We need that like a hole in the head! "

Chester-le-Street face Silsden from the North West Counties League at Chester Moor, and manager Colin Wake will have 21 players to choose from, with just midfielder Craig Marron doubtful. Manager Colin Wake said; “We need to perform well against Silsden to stay in the competition.” Silsden have won all their seven games in the first division of the NWCL.

Second Division Esh Winning take on first division Penrith at Waterhouses, and will probably be missing Nick Marley and Joe Wilkinson, but Kieran Day and Isam Mohammad.

Manager Tony Boakes said; “It’s a great to play in the Vase but we have a very difficult game against Penrith, but after two wins in a week who knows?”