Shildon manager Danny Moore is aiming for six points from the two holiday derby matches to keep the Railwaymen on course for promotion.

Shildon, who are in second place in the table, face Bishop Auckland at Dean Street this afternoon, and then follow it up with another derby game against Newton Aycliffe on Boxing Day. Moore sees the games as a big opportunity to cement their place in the top three.

“While we’re winning, the gap on the other teams chasing us is getting bigger,“ he said. “We’ve won seven league games in a row to get into this situation, and we need to keep the wins coming.

“Most of the teams around us have played more games than us, so come the end of January if we’re still in the same position, then we won’t be far away.

“After we beat Hebburn a couple of weeks ago, the players now have real belief in themselves, and we believe that we can go all the way now.”

Top scorer Billy Greulich-Smith could return after a foot injury, but Ben Trotter and Kurt Matthews are both out because of suspension.

Bishops, who are in eighth place, will be without defender Tom Bott because of suspension, while Aidan Hart is also missing, so teenager Billy Harland is in the squad. Manager Ian Chandler said; “Tough game expected but if we create as much as last week and defend a little better, a positive result will be expected.”

West Auckland, who are in unbeaten in their last five league and cup games, take on Penrith at the Wanted Stadium.

Tom Price, Liam Heggarty and Chris Hunter are all out because of injury, but Adam Burnicle and Nathan Fisher return. Manager Gary Forrest said; “We’ve got a few players missing again, it’s really frustrating.”

West are ninth in the table, while Penrith are fifth from bottom.

Newton Aycliffe, who are at home to Ashington, still have several players out injured as they try to improve on their seventh place in the table.

Bottom club Northallerton have a very tough home game against league leaders Stockton Town.

Northallerton have lost their last matches in league and cup, and manager Darren Trotter said; “It’s going to be a tough game with both teams moving in opposite directions. We have a fitness worries that don’t help, but on the other hand we are close to bringing in new players to make our squad more competitive.”

Stockton are going well at the moment and are four points clear of Shildon at the top of the table. They haven’t lost in ten league matches.

In the second division, Crook are looking for their eighth straight win at home to Bedlington and consolidate third place in the league.

Manager Jamie Tunstall said; “The lads are doing really well at the moment and we’re hoping we can continue that form.

“We’re back at home and want to try and keep our run going. Bedlington have had some good results this season, so we’ll be on our guard and will have to make sure that we’re at our best.”

Chris Dunwell and Dane Eltringham are missing, with Dan Maddison, Alex Wilson and Matty Crossen all returning.

Tow Law face Chester-le-Street at Ironworks Road, hoping to bounce back from their defeat at Jarrow last week.

Lawyers have no injury problems to worry about, and manager Micky Vasey, who might bring in a new signing, said; “We’re expecting a hard game.”

Chester include new keeper Jack Newman on loan as Max Coombes is unavailable and manager Colin Wake said; “Tow Law is always a tough place to go at any time of year and this year with the squad they have assembled will be a real test.”

Willington face Carlisle City at Hall Lane, the first ever Northern League meeting between the clubs, and winger Craig Ruddy returns to their starting line-up.

Manager Ibby Hassan said; “We’re looking forward to a tough game. We’ve been very strong recently at home and hopefully we can continue in the same vein.

“Having lost to them in a cup game earlier in the season, we owe them one.”

Carlisle are currently fifth in the table, two points behind Crook.

Neither of the two basement clubs, Durham City and Brandon, dare lose their clash at Hall Lane. Durham are second from bottom, six points behind third bottom Washington, while Brandon are a point behind Durham, who have made several new signings this week.