Darlington Mowden Park will be hoping for an inspired performance from player-coach Richard Arnold tomorrow after his wife gave birth to a daughter in midweek.

The ex-Newcastle Falcons flanker missed last week's trip to Longton because of the imminent arrival of the couple's first child, but will be back for the home match against New Brighton.

Jon Dye is also expected to return after he, Danny Brown, Tom McLaren and scrum half Richard Holbrough all played for the Falcons' Development XV on Monday night.

Holbrough was reported to have played well, but he is unavailable tomorrow, and Mowden have the option of switching Andy Foreman back to his preferred position or bringing in either Chris Machin or Luke Stringer.

It is still uncertain whether Tongan centre Suka Hufanga will be fit to make his debut. He has just about recovered from the hamstring injury which kept him out last week, but Mowden could decide to wait and make sure he is fully fit for next week's visit of leaders Halifax.

Gareth Kerr is likely to be out for several weeks because of a back problem, which apparently stems from having one leg shorter than the other.

Darlington are determined to gain their first away win in National Three North when they visit Macclesfield, who were promoted with them last season.

"We won there by one point last year and after beating them at home this season we will go there full of confidence," said player-coach Craig Lee. "We all know we need an away win."

Craig's brother Paul and full back Graeme Haswell, who both went off with neck injuries last week, are fit and with David Andrew available Darlington again have options in the backs.

Lee was full of praise for Haswell, saying: "He's not very big, but he puts his body on the line and he's exciting when he runs with the ball."

Blaydon have been assigned a division one referee for the visit of Longton, where they had problems early in the season. Lock James Houghton had 21 stitches round an eye and reported his assailant to the police.

Blaydon have taken disciplinary action of their own in suspending winger Simon Barber for three weeks for foul play which was not spotted by the referee.

Richard Windle, who has been at fly half recently, is out for the rest of the season after breaking a leg at Halifax last week.

But the other casualties from that match expect to be fit, while scrum half Nick Williams is ready to resume and winger Colin Duncan also returns. New signing Luke Wattam, a Durham University full back, will be involved.

The battle of the top two in North Two East sees leaders Hull visit Middlesbrough, who will also be keeping a close eye on the fourth v third match in which Westoe entertain Morpeth.

Simon Moore returns at full back for Boro, with Mark Foster dropping to the bench, while Ali Little comes in at fly half. In the forwards John Dixon will start, with Phil Tilson on the bench, and Dean Gardiner replaces unavailable No 8 Mark Hatfield.

Stockton visit Sandal, who have improved after making a few signings. Skipper Alan Brown will play for Stockton as he has no date yet for the disciplinary hearing following his first sending-off in a 16-year senior career. The club felt the dismissal was harsh.

Gary Skirving returns at prop, while centre Steve Thornton and back row man Brett Wildridge are also available.

West Hartlepool could give an outing to new winger Dan Abrahams, from Teesside University, as they seek revenge for their October defeat at Horden. There are several injury doubts, including Dave Tighe, who has an ankle problem.

* Barnard Castle School's Ross Batty is in the England Under 18 squad to meet for training at Warwick School on February 22. They will be preparing for matches against Midlands Clubs U18s and Northampton U19s.