CHESTER-le-Street manager Colin Wake has warned his players about a backlash in the second division match of the day at Northallerton today.

Chester go to North Yorkshire in fourth place in the table, three points behind Northallerton and having beaten them 7-2 at home earlier this season.

Northallerton are unbeaten at home in eleven league matches this season – they’ve only dropped two points – and Wake wants his players to be ready as Northallerton look for revenge and strengthen their grip on third place.

“We expect a backlash after we inflicted a heavy defeat on Northallerton earlier in the season, but we go there in good spirits after our midweek win in the Ernest Armstrong Cup,” said Wake.

Chester will be without six players for various reasons, including Dan McGuire who has returned to the States, but Andrew Clarkson and Michael Hepplewhite both return to the squad.

Northallerton have an injury doubt over keeper Tom Dawson, so teenager Max Richardson could deputise, while there are also doubts over Aaron Ramsbottom and Dale Elgie. Kieran McWaters and Kerry Hedley are both still out injured.

In the first division, West Auckland are at home to Whitley Bay, and they hope to include a new signing in their squad for the game.

Defender Ross Colquhoun returns after injury, but Nathan Fisher, Tom Portas, Dan Parker and Anth Bell are all still ruled out because of injury. They have signed MacKenzie Heaney, a former Newcastle junior who was at Newcastle Benfield.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “We’re hoping to build on our FA Vase win last week.”

West are currently seventh in the table, while Whitley are sixth from bottom.

Newton Aycliffe, who lost 3-2 at Bishop Auckland in midweek after winning 2-0 at one point, are at Seaham Red Star.

Keeper James Winter and defender Tom Gavin are both doubtful because of injury, while striker Marc Costello returns to the squad.

Manager Deano Browne said; “Seaham are a massively improved team and will be a tough test. We don’t seem to be getting the run of the green at the moment, but we are confident our luck will turn and the results will start to come.”

Shildon, who lost at home to Ryhope CW last week, are at eighth placed Newcastle Benfield and they are hoping to include a new striker in their squad.

However, player-manager Danny Moore and defender Marc Ellison are both suspended.

Bishop Auckland, who are second, are without a game today, and they’ll be keeping an eye on leaders Consett, who are at Whickham, and third placed Dunston UTS, who are at home to Sunderland RCA.

In the other second division games, Willington, who are in fifth place, go to Birtley looking for their fourth win in five games.

Manager Rob Lee expects to have a full squad to choose from and said; “Birtley are having a good season, so it will not be an easy game.”

Crook Town go to Washington, and they welcome Jim Wilson and Ellis Husband back into their squad as they try to improve on their sixth bottom position at the expense of Washington, who are a place below them.

Manager Jamie Tunstall said; “We’ll have to make some tough decisions about squad selection this week which is what we want to do.

“Washington like us are desperate for points and in a similar run of poor form. We’ll both be looking at this game as one we need to take something from. We can’t afford to go another game with nothing, but we can’t have excuses with players coming back from injury.”

Crook have won only once in their last six matches and have lost their last four on the trot.

Third bottom Esh Winning are at home to West Allotment, and manager Tony Boakes includes youngster Ciaran Banks, signed from Darlington, in their squad. “Tommy Wright and Darlington Fc have loaned us some very talented young players. I’m sure both teams will be fighting for the three points which should make for a great game.”

Brandon, who are next to bottom, are at home to Tow Law who are two places above them.

Jack Carr and Alex Dobinson both return for Brandon, who nearly beat league leaders Billingham Town last week. Lawyers include two new signings, Josh Scott from Newcastle Benfield and Dan Curry from Gateshead.

Bottom club Durham City badly need a win over Redcar Athletic to reduce the 14-point gap on third bottom Esh Winning.

They will give new signing Anthony Chapman his debut, while Carl Pottinger, Mitchell Ventress and Joe Whelan all return, and manager Billy Harper said; “We are all going into the game more confident that we can pick up a positive result.”