West Auckland are including a new midfielder from Australia in their squad away to league leaders Dunston UTS on Saturday.

They have signed 21-year-old James Xydias, a midfielder who has been playing for Bentleigh Greens in Australia, and he made a scoring debut in the 4-0 away win in the League Cup at Thornaby in midweek.

West manager Gary Forrest said; “James has impressed in training, and played really well on Tuesday. He’s been playing in the league that is one below the A League.

“This will be a tremendous game against Dunston, because they’re in great form at the moment.”

West have lost just once in their last eleven league and cup games, and add strikers Adam Burnicle and David Dowson to their squad today, but Steve Snaith, Anthony Bell, Dan Parker and Nathan Fisher are all out injured.

Dunston are joint top of the table with Consett, and are unbeaten in 16 league games this season.

Bishop Auckland, who are seven points behind the two leaders, welcome Penrith to Heritage Park, looking to stretch their unbeaten league run to eight matches.

Striker Chris Winn is missing because of injury, while defender Lewis Gibbons and midfielder Darren Richardson are both suspended. However, midfielder Kyle Patton comes back into the squad.

Manager Ian Chandler said; “It’s a tricky game as always with Penrith who had a good result last week. We need to bounce back from our league cup defeat at Consett in midweek where I thought we played some fantastic football in the first half.”

Shildon take on joint leaders Consett at Dean Street, and include new centre half Dale Mulligan, signed from Stockton Town, in their squad, otherwise manage Danny Moore chooses from a full squad.

“We’ve got nothing to lose because everyone expects us to get beat,” said Moore. “There’s no pressure on us for a change, but we’re steadily improving as a team.”

Newton Aycliffe welcome Stockton Town to Moore Lane, and they include new signing Dan Wright, a former Sunderland youngster who has joined from South Shields, as well as Ben Clarke from Brandon. Josh Rodgers is out injured and Marc Costello is suspended. “We’re looking forward to another home game and looking forward to keeping the momentum going. Stockton are a good team that try and play the right way, so it will be a good attacking game.”

Aycliffe have lost only once in their last eight league and cup games.

In the second division, third in the table Chester-le-Street are looking for their third straight league win at home to Brandon.

Michael Hepplewhite, Owen Lancaster, Kieran Megran and Kevin Dixon, but Joe grant and Dan Candlish are both doubtful.

Manager Colin Wake said; “Brandon are always a difficult side to play against as they never give in and keep going for the full 90 minutes no matter what the score.

“They have some good individuals and collectively they are doing well of late, so we will have to be at our best to match them.”

Brandon, who are second bottom, include new signing Chris Mordue from Esh Winning as well as Leigh Guthrie in their full strength squad.

Fourth placed Northallerton, who are unbeaten at home this season, face Bedlington at Ainderby Road. They are currently a point behind Chester-le-Street with two games in hand.

“Given a choice I would always choose points in the bag rather than games in hand,” said manager Darren Trotter. “I am happy that we are coming along nicely under the radar and Saturday’s game is very important as we seek to preserve our unbeaten league record at home this season.”

Kieran McWaters and Kerry Hedley are both out injured, but Aaron Ramsbottom and Neil Pattinson both come back into the squad.

Willington, who are in sixth, are at home to Easington, and they are hoping to include defender Jacob Owen, who has been signed on dual registration from Marske United. They will still be missing long term injured Jason White and Graham Lazonby.

Crook Town are at home to fourth bottom Birtley, and they will be missing Ellis Husband, but Richie Gaston and Jamie Harwood both return to the squad. Striker Phil Caley will have a fitness test. Manager Jamie Tunstall said; “Birtley have been doing well in a lot of games recently and like us, not getting results they probably deserve, so I’m under no illusions that we’re in for a tough game. I felt we deserved a point at their place and were unlucky to concede a last-minute equaliser.”

Bottom club Durham City have a big away game at Esh Winning, and they include several new faces as new manager Billy Harper continues to overhaul his squad at the bottom of the table.

“Everyone is positive that they’ll put on a strong performance and start picking up the points needed,” he said.

Esh, who are fifth bottom, include new signings Lewis Alderson and Kieron Dunn, signed from Darlington, in their squad, but Nick Marley, Callum Boakes and Daniel Hailes are all missing.

Manager Tony Boakes said; “We are expecting a determined Durham side with them having a new management team. It’s always difficult to play teams when a new manager comes in.”

Tow Law are at home to Billingham Synthonia, and they include new signing Mattie Soulsby from Birtley.

League leaders Billingham Town are hoping to stretch their unbeaten start to the season to 20 league games at home to Washington.