Spennymoor assistant manager Jason Ainsley believes promotion from the Second Division won't be easy.

After another summer of upheaval, Moors take on Washington at the Brewery Field, and Ainsley, second in command to Jamie Pollock, said: "We've got a strong squad and capable of doing well, but we're under no illusions. We know there are plenty of other good teams in the division."

Moors are close to full strength, with midfielder Stephen Bell set to make his return debut, but new striker Anthony Woodhouse is unable to play because his transfer from Durham won't be approved until next week.

Washington have signed Martin and Stephen Houlahan, who were both at Spennymoor last season, but the former will have a fitness test. Gareth McKenna and Dale Robinson are both missing.

In the First Division, Darlington RA's meteoric rise continues when they go to Whitley Bay. Striker Paul Freary and midfielder Andrew Chapman are unavailable, while new signing Andrew Westwood needs a fitness test. Whitley are without midfielder Damon Robson, while new striker Phil Bell, signed from Chester-le-Street, makes his debut.

Shildon are at promoted Northallerton. Midfielder Stuart Niven will make his debut after signing in midweek from Tow Law, along with striker Adam Emson.

Northallerton have strengthened their promotion winning squad by signing Dave Turner from Billingham Town and Martin O'Riordan from Horden. Striker Carl Chillingsworth is struggling with a shoulder injury.

West Auckland face Second Division champions Consett without Danny Key and Andy Cole, but include new signings Craig Birneck and Ged Wraith. Consett include Michael Brown, who has been playing in Australia and at Feyenoord.

Tow Law hope to have solved their goalkeeping crisis by signing Sam Gordon, the son of chairwoman Sandra, and he'll probably play at Morpeth as Darren Horrigan and Liam Connell are injured. Striker Garry Barnes is unavailable.

Billingham Synthonia could give former Middlesbrough defender Curtis Fleming his debut at home to Durham City after he received international clearance. They could also give debuts to Paul Atkinson and Craig Veart, both signed from Whitby, and Emmanuel Ibhadon, who was at Moor Green last season.

Durham were the most active club in the signings market during the summer and give several debuts. Micky Chilton, who was one of the top scorers in the league last season is doubtful. Former Darlington and Wrexham midfielder Stephen Thomas has been released after a brief trial.

Horden manager Brian Honour faces his old Hartlepool team-mate Paul Baker, who is boss of Newcastle Benfield BP. Gary Pearson, one of several Horden signings, is suspended, while Stuart Brightwell is unavailable.

Billingham Town, who finished fourth last season, go to Ashington without injured keeper Darren Collier, so Jamie Todd stands by.

Sunderland Nissan, who face Chester-le-Street, are without summer signing Steve Walklate, but former Hartlepool midfielder Jon Cullen has returned to the club. Chester include new signings Calvin Smith and Andy Anderson, but defender Elliott Milburn is injured.

In the Second Division, Crook face newcomers Team Northumbria having lost Karl Everitt and Jamie Harwood to Worksop as well as defender Mark Foster to Spennymoor. Strikers Roy Allen and Jonathan Milroy haven't re-registered. However, they signed ten players this week, including striker David Snow and keeper Jack Norton from Darlington.

The other new team, Stokesley, have tried to boost the attendance for their opener with Hebburn by leafleting 2,000 homes in the town. Manager Ted Watts has injury doubts over James Alsop and John Newton, while Robbie Donnelly is unavailable.

Colin Myers, manager of relegated Brandon, will have a full squad to choose from at home to Marske United, although Neil Peachey and Nick Gibson will have fitness tests. Marske include keeper Adrian Swann, signed from Bishop Auckland.

Norton give a debut to Nathan Mulligan, who was part of Middlesborugh's FA Youth Cup-winning squad, at home to Penrith, while they include another four new signings.

Esh Winning go to Thornaby, who were relegated with them last season, and manager Ray Gowan is missing midfielder Geoff Young.

South Shields are hoping last season's traumas are behind them and they include several new signings at home to Seaham Red Star, including striker Justin Perry, who was manager of Spennymoor last season, and keeper Marc Riches, who was at Bedlington. Seaham, who have only two players left from last season, are missing defender Matty Taylor.

In the Northern Alliance, relegated Peterlee are at Seaton Delaval Amateurs and Easington go to Heddon.