Bishop Auckland manager Brian Honour still believes his team can escape the drop despite being three points adrift of safety ahead of their game at Bamber Bridge this afternoon.

Bishops' fortunes took a turn for the worse in midweek when they lost at home to fellow strugglers Bridlington Town, but Honour said: "We're not marooned yet at the bottom of the table. There are still lots of points to play for, and we must keep chipping away.

"It will be important to start well and take the game to Bamber Bridge. We started badly the other night but we almost got something out of the game. I've seen us play a lot worse this season."

Keeper Dale Roberts is out with a broken wrist sustained while on trial with Nottingham Forest, so Simon Corbett replaces him. Defender Neil Wilkinson is playing for Hartlepool reserves in the Durham Challenge Cup and is unavailable.

Spennymoor, who have a hearing in front of the League Management Committee tomorrow after refusing to travel for their game last Sunday, are at home to Matlock, looking for their first league win since January.

Paul Talbot and Steve Hutt are both injured, but defender Michael Gough returns.

Manager Graeme Clark said: "We're hoping for a lot more desire than we showed in the defeat at Dunston in midweek."

The League has announced a two-year extension of their sponsorship deal with UniBond that will be worth £220,000.

Gateshead are hoping to clinch a final place in the Durham Challenge Cup when they face Hartlepool at Billingham Town. The winners will play Dunston in the final on Easter Monday.

* Darlington RA, with only one defeat in 26 Wearside League games, face one of their stiffest tasks of the season visiting Birtley Town in the semi-final of the Sunderland Shipowners' Cup this afternoon.

"They've been on fire in the last few months so we know we're in for a difficult game, but we are up for it, even though Warren Byrne and Martin Brown are missing," said RA secretary Martyn Jackson.

RA also have a doubt surrounding the fitness of David Alderson but Paul Freary is back from Liverpool University.

Birtley manager Dave Smith has no selection problems as aims for an 11th consecutive victory to reach the final.

Stokesley SC, who last week reached the final of the Monkwearmouth Charity Cup, take a strong squad to Whitehaven for the other semi-final.

In the league, third-top Coxhoe Athletic can't call upon Peter Croft, David Hutchinson or Philip Best at New Marske. Michael Armstrong, Andrew Richardson and Gary Turton must prove their fitness.

Wolviston are stronger for their game at Annfield Plain, where they will attempt to win for the first time since November.

In their last two matches they have only been able to name 11 players but have John Patterson, Gareth Richardson, Shaun Braithwaite, Dean Moore and Dave Cardwell in the plans of manager Graham Howard.

Ferryhill Athletic include Paul Robson and John Banks at home to Shotton Comrades.

Nissan journey to Windscale unable to include Ben Hutchinson or Mark Goodwin.