Marske United defender Michael Kinnair makes history tomorrow when he becomes the first player from his club to reach 500 appearances.

Kinnair, who was signed by the club when he was a raw teenager over a decade ago, will reach the milestone when he steps on to the field in the home game against bottom club Newcastle Blue Star.

Marske chairman John Hodgson said: "he has been a fantastic servant to the club over the years, ever since we signed him during our Wearside League days.

"He's been almost ever present during that time, apart from a brief spell at Hartlepool Town, and a couple of injuries.

"In that time, he's hardly been suspended, because he's one of those players who doesn't get booked.

"He's had one or two offers from higher clubs but he's always stuck it out with us."

Kinnair is the third player from a Northern League club to reach the 500 game milestone this season.

Northern League chairman Mike Amos is worried that the league could be "financially cut off" from FA funding.

Through the Football Foundation, the FA has stated that funding for ground improvements will be made available to "ambitious clubs" who are prepared to progress up the pyramid ladder, but Amos disagrees with that policy.

"I think it's completely wrong, because as a league, we're trying to encourage clubs to improve their grounds," said Amos. "At the moment, no Northern League club wants to go into the UniBond League because it is financially suicidal, not because they're lacking ambition. At present, there are only two clubs from the north east in the unbind League First Division, so obviously high travel costs need to be taken into account. Why on earth should any level-headed club want to go into the UniBond League First Division in its current format? If they're told that there's no funding, in effect a two tiered society is being created.

"It could mean that Northern League grounds won't get money, and then the league is in danger of being cut off financially."

No club from the ANL has stated that it wants to take promotion to the UniBond League at the end of the season. Bedlington manager Keith Perry recently revealed that his club won't yet consider promotion because of the potential financial problems which have hit the north east clubs in the UniBond League.

Crook have been cleared of any blame for allegedly playing an ineligible player in their Craven Cup tie against Willington.

The league thought that Crook had used Ryan Murray when he wasn't signed on for them, but the league had overlooked that he had been registered with them on August 3rd, just after Willington had cancelled his contract.

Whitley Bay are playing a Newcastle XI in a friendly at Hillheads on Wednesday 12th March, kick off 7pm Durham FA have confirmed that the Durham Challenge cup final between Billingham Synthonia and Horden will be played at Durham City on Easter Monday, April 21st, kick off 11 am.

The Northern League are weighing up potential venues for the final of the League Cup. It is expected that the game will be held in the first week in May, possibly the Bank Holiday Monday.

Guisborough manager Steve Corden is delighted with the form of former Darlington defender Mark Sunley.

Sunley has been a virtual ever-present this season for the Priorymen, and Corden said; "Mark has been superb since he came to us from Gateshead.

"He wanted to play regular football, and his game has benefited from playing week in, week out with us.

"He has given the team 100 per cent commitment in everything he's done, no matter which position he's played in - and there's been a few of those."

Dunston central defender Steve Holmes has suffered another knee injury.

Holmes, signed by Dunston from Lincoln at the start of the season, missed three months because of a knee injury, and now he is facing a cartilage operation.

Whitley Bay have sprung a surprise by releasing midfielder Gary Middleton, who was part of their FA Vase winning team last season. Bedlington have been fined £100 by the league for wearing the same strip as the home team, Whitley Bay, in a recent league game. Whitley Bay were forced to wear their away strip for the game, even though they're not allowed to according to league rules. Bedlington have been found guilty of the same offence before.

Horden have been fined £50 by the league for fielding an ineligible player in their League cup tie at Brandon last month. Brandon won the game 4-0.

The league is to recommend to its AGM that David Robinson is to take over from Steve Rock as registrations secretary at the end of the season.

Consett are now stranded in the bottom three of the First Division after they lost their relegation battle at Prudhoe on Tuesday night.

After beating Whitley Bay 1-0 a fortnight ago, Consett have lost their last three matches, and are looking favourites for one of the relegation spots.

Mattie Foreman gave Prudhoe the lead after nine minutes, but Colin McLeod levelled for Consett on 45. However, Jeff Sugden put through his own goal after 63 minutes, with Chris Creamer making sure after 74 minutes.

Billingham Synthonia missed a chance to go top for at least one night when they lost 1-0 at Tow Law, for whom Scott Nicholson scored from 25 yards early in the game.

Ian Chandler scored his 150th goal for Whitley Bay when they beat Esh Winning 5-0. Andy Hay scored a hat trick with Lee Ludlow scoring the other. Whitley scored three goals in the last six minutes.

West Auckland are up to fourth after they drew 2-2 with Newcastle Blue Star. Chris Herron put Blue Star into the lead twice, with gaols after 38 and 81 minutes, but Paul Stout and David Southern equalised for West.

In the second division, leaders Washington Nissan are outsiders for promotion after they were beaten 4-0 at Easington, for whom David Taylor scored a hat trick.

Thornaby are now second after two goals from Andrew Banks gave them a 2-0 win at Shotton.

Horden are well in the picture after they won 3-2 at Ashington.

Norton picked up a valuable point near the bottom when they drew 0-0 at Northallerton.

On Wednesday night, Bedlington opened up a two point gap at the top with a 2-1 home win over Washington, Roy Allen scoring their winner.

Nearest challengers Brandon could only draw 1-1 with Morpeth, after the visitors took the lead through Paul Beavers. David Johnson equalised.

Chester-le-Street are now well away from relegation trouble after they won 3-1 at Shildon, Gary Shields and Martin Bowes scoring in the last ten minutes.

In the second division, three of the clubs fighting relegation won.

Willington won their first league game since October with a 3-0 win at Whickham, with John Richardson, Steve Baker and Paul Gibbs scoring, while Crook beat Hebburn thanks to a goal by David Snow just before half time.

Eppleton who were second bottom, beat Murton 3-1.

Alnwick and Norton are now in the bottom three, but Crook play Eppleton on Saturday.

Murton's home game with Northallerton has been switched to Northallerton on Saturday because of vandalism at the Welfare Ground.

The latest performance of the week awards are: 25th January; Shotton for a 4-1 win at Evenwood, 1st February; Willington for a 4-1 home win over Crook in the craven Cup; 8th February: Alnwick for a 4-1 away win at Kennek Ryhope CA, 15th February; Billingham Town for a 5-4 away win at Bedlington; 22nd February; Prudhoe for a 2-0 home win over Billingham Synthonia.

The draw for the quarter finals of the league cup to be played later this month is; Marske v Tow Law or Penrith, Seaham Red Star v Brandon, Billingham Synthonia v Bedlington, Shildon v Morpeth or Ashington The draw for the quarter finals of the Craven Cup is; South Shields v Thornaby, Ashington or Whickham v Hebburn or Penrith, Alnwick v Seaham or Shotton, Evenwood or Kennek Ryhope CA v Willington.