Bishop Auckland midfielder Jeff Smith is expected to sign for First Division Bolton Wanderers over the weekend.

Former Hartlepool midfielder Smith has been outstanding for Bishops this season as they push for a top-three place in the UniBond League and Bolton boss Sam Allardyce, after giving him a trial, has made him a permanent offer.

Bishops boss Tony Lee wouldn't reveal the exact details, but he said: "I think he's got a very good chance of making it as a professional because he's getting better all the time and will improve with full-time training."

The scouts were out in force again on Wednesday watching Danny Mellanby and Micky Nelson in action at Gateshead, and Lee said: "There are a lot of second and third division clubs showing interest in the pair of them. We have to accept that our lads are being watched by league clubs and we may lose them."

Bishops take on derby rivals Spennymoor at Kingsway today and will probably be unchanged from the team which won at Gateshead, with the possible exception of Smith.

Spennymoor, meanwhile, who lost to Bishops in the League Cup this season, could make changes after their 3-0 defeat by Lancaster in midweek, although they are without full back David Andison.

Whitby Town are at Accrington Stanley, and will be without six players because of injury.

Gateshead are missing midfielder Steve Bowey at Burscough, so they have recalled Paul Talbot from Tow Law.

Bedlington take on Rymans League Berkhamsted at Welfare Park in the FA Carlsberg Vase semi-final, hoping to build up a good first-leg advantage to set them up for a Villa Park final against either Collier Row or Taunton.

"If we play our normal game, then we'll definitely get a good result," said Lowery.

"When teams come to Bedlington we like to put them under a lot of pressure and see what they're made if.

"We don't fear them at all. We know they've done well so far in the competition and they've pulled off some good results, but we're fancying our chances. We're expecting nearly 2,000 fans."

Lowery will give a late fitness test to midfielder Anthony Chapman, but he should be fit