Shildon are determined to maintain their 100 per cent away record in the league when they go to league leaders Morpeth today.

The Railwaymen have won all seven of their away league games this season – the most recent victory coming on Wednesday night at Penrith – and have conceded just five goals in the process.

But manager Danny Moore knows that Morpeth will provide the stiffest test yet with their nine game unbeaten home record this season.

“The match won’t define where the league title goes, but it’s an important game as every game is if we are to win promotion.

“I have a lot of respect for Morpeth as a club and team, and we will give them the respect they deserve but we will look to go there and continue our great away form.”

Moore will be without defender Kyle May, who has taken the Penrith manager’s job, while Martyn Coleman will probably follow him. Former Shildon player Mark Hudson has returned to the club as coach from West Auckland.

West Auckland, who conceded five in midweek against Ryhope CW, are at home to bottom club Billingham Synthonia, who have yet to win a league game this season. West have now conceded 36 goals this season – more than every club in the top 15 – and manager Gary Forrest said; “Our goals conceded record is very poor and a lot of the responsibility for this lies at the door of the centre halves.. They are consistently letting the team down with poor and erratic performances. The spine of any good team has to be strong and so far my centre halves have failed to deliver. They need to step up, stop thinking they better than they are and deliver some solid performances on a consistent basis.”

Top scorer Nathan Fisher and keeper Mark Bell will both have fitness tests, and another striker, Amar Purewal, is out because of injury, as are midfielder Michael McKeown and defender Darren Richardson Bottom of the table Synners have picked up only four points all season, and have scored only eleven goals in the process.

Bishop Auckland could go eleven points away from the relegation zone if they win at Whitley Bay Newton Aycliffe, who are seventh from bottom, are at home to Dunston UTS, and they could give recent signing Glen Lane his debut. However, Liam Browne, Dan Mitton and Aaron Brown are all injured, while Paul Weldon will have a fitness test.

Manager Deano Browne said; “It’s a game against a good well-organised team but another home game in which we will be working hard to stop them from playing and are confident we can get something from.”

In the second division, Tow Law, who lost their first home league game of the season in midweek to Durham City to stay in third, are at Thornaby. Tom Orton is expected to return to the side, but defender David Mitchell is injured. “This will be a very hard game against a free scoring in-form side, said manager Steve Murray. Thornaby are in fifth place after a good win in midweek over fellow promotion chasers Whickham.

Fourth placed Northallerton, who are one point behind leaders Hebburn, are at home to Crook Town, and Shaun Hudson, Liam Jarvie and Colin Anderson all return to the squad after missing last week’s defeat at Bedlington. “Hopefully a better playing surface will suit our style of play better,” said manager Darren Trotter. Crook include three recent signings in their squad – Adam Comby from Brandon, Dan Kent from Willington and David Paul from Easington – while Ethan Harker, Ryan Braithwaite, Daniel Smith and Callum Johnston all return to the squad, but defender Matthew Stephenson is missing.

Manager Chris Lax said; “It should be an interesting game as a few of the Northallerton players played for me last season in the Wearside League.”

Durham City are looking for their second away win of the week at Bedlington, and they include new signing Lee Gaunt in their squad, while striker Brad Hird and midfielder Steve Malloy return after injury.

Manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “I’m really pleased with recent performances so if we apply ourselves against a very direct Bedlington. We need to be switched on for 90 minutes to get a result but we’re very confident if the players perform as they have done in recent games.”

Brandon, who are hoping to appoint a new manager soon, go to Billingham Town and they welcome top scorer Vinny Gash back into their squad, along with Luke Thompson and Reece Marshall. They could also include a couple of new signings.

Billingham have recently re-signed winger Liam Hogan, who was at Crook Town and this week signed keeper Brad James on loan from Middlesbrough Darlington RA, who are third bottom, are at Willington, and they welcome back keeper Phil Pentony and midfielder Joe Peel, but Leigh Guthrie is missing.

Willington, who are five places and four points above the RA, could include a new signing, but they are missing striker Connor Winter and Graham Lazonby.

Esh Winning, who are ninth, are at home to sixth placed Whickham, and include former Darlington striker Shaun Reay in their squad, while Connor Halpin and Callum Boakes return. However, Gavin Brown, Scott Arnott and Nick Marley are all missing.

Chester-le-Street, who had a poor 6-0 away defeat last week and dropped to second bottom, are at home to Easington, and manager Colin Wake said; “We are looking for a more disciplined performance after being soundly beaten last week.”

Wake is hoping to sign at least one new player, while Lee Mole, Dan McGuire and Kieran Megran are all expected to return. However, Aaron Thompson is missing.

The draw for the second round of the Durham Challenge Cup is: Chester-Le-Street v Spennymoor Town, Dunston UTS v West Auckland, South Shields v Sunderland RCA, Gateshead FC v Shildon AFC, Consett AFC v Sunderland West End, Whickham FC v Easington Colliery, Sunderland AFC v Stockton Town, Hartlepool United v Billingham Synthonia.

The draw for the second round of the Ernest Armstrong Cup is: Tow Law or Jarrow v Bedlington, Chester-le-Street v Easington, Hebburn v Esh Winning, Heaton Stannington v West Allotment, Blyth AFC v Northallerton, Durham City v Thornaby, Willington v Alnwick, Ryton and Crawcrook v Billingham Town