Stokesley SC moved to the top of the table with a five goals blast against Boldon CA last Saturday and secretary Peter Grainge believes the side is capable of going all the way.

"It has certainly been a learning curve for us since we joined the League four years ago.

"We shared the second division championship with Redcar Town in our first year and since then we have improved and I now consider we have a decent side.

"We have continued our improvement during this season and were delighted when we took over poll position at the weekend," exclaimed Grainge.

A number of Northern League clubs have been watching Stokesley and Grainge is pleased that players have stayed loyal.

"We very much a homely club and all the lads seem to gel under manager Ted Watts. On our day we are good enough to give any team in the league a good game and although the season is not yet at the halfway stage, we are quietly confident of winning some silverware this season."

Besides being involved in the league's three domestic cup competitions, Stokesley have progressed in the North Riding County Cup after defeating New Marske. They meet Fishburn Park on November 16 and a fortnight later are at Windscale representing the North Riding in the Inter-County Cup when their opponents will be Carlisle side North Bank.

Cleadon SC manager Dougie Keys is another official happy with his side's form. The South Tyneside outfit made a poor start to the season and Keys is first to admit that preparation was poor.

"I was let down with friendlies and in addition had to contend with holidays, suspensions and injuries which meant that we went into the campaign ill prepared.

"Our worst performance was when we were hammered 12-1 by Birtley Town and we also lost to lowly Ferryhill Athletic. But recently there has been a tremendous improvement culminating in the victory over New Marske at the weekend," enthused Keys.

"I rate New Marske very highly and believe they will be in contention for the championship."

There has been little change in personnel at Jack Clark Park, but Keys believes the improved performances are down to the hard work.

"When we finished playing midweek I told the players they would need to train twice weekly and they have responded magnificently. There has not been a moan and I am delighted at the way they are pulling together.