Shildon player/manager Danny Moore says that their top of the table clash with Stockton at Dean Street on Saturday will test their promotion credentials.

Shildon have climbed up to second place in the table in recent weeks thanks to a run of just one defeat in twelve games, but Stockton haven’t lost since October, a run of fourteen games. There are six points between the teams, while Stockton have two games in hand.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to go up against the team that are favourites to win the league, and to see where we’re at for our own promotion credentials,” said the manager.

Moore along with midfielder David Palmer will have a fitness test.

Stockton, meanwhile, beat South Shields in midweek to reach the Durham Challenge Cup semi-finals, and expect to be at full strength.

Manager Micky Dunwell said; “Shildon have been going very well recently, just like us, so it will be a very tough game.”

Newton Aycliffe, who are in ninth place, but with games in hand on all the clubs above them, go to Sunderland RCA, and will give new striker Andrei Ardelean from Consett his debut.

West Auckland take on third bottom Thornaby at the Wanted Stadium, fresh from a battling display at Spennymoor in the Durham Challenge Cup in midweek when they were beaten on penalties.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “It was a great performance in midweek which we need to build upon.”

Thornaby have let top scorer Adam Preston return to Redcar, but they signed striker Matty Waters from Marske United to replace him.

Manager Craig Haley said; “We go there with full belief looking to get something from the game.”

Bottom club Northallerton have a home game against Whitley Bay, and they include new signings striker Micky Rae and midfielder Nat Skidmore from Ryhope CW in their squad, while full back Lee Brockbank has extended his loan from Marske.

Manager Darren Trotter said; “Both of the new signings will have a big impact on our performances. We were narrowly beaten up there earlier in the season so we’re hoping to turn that around at home.”

Billingham Town are at home to Newcastle Benfield, and they have appointed Drew Lambert to their coaching staff. They were beaten 5-1 at home by Shildon last week, and assistant manager Ste Oakley said; “We’ve had a good training session through the week, and we’re looking for a reaction from last Saturday's result."

Guisborough go across to Penrith, looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven league matches, and they expect to choose from a full squad. Manager Gary Forster said; “We are in great form at the moment and hoping to make some ground up on the promotion hopefuls.”

In the second division, the game of the day is between seventh placed Billingham Synthonia and leaders West Allotment. Synners will be missing suspended defender Mattie Lovatt.

Manager Dave Dickson said; “Hopefully we’ll show how much we’ve come on in the last couple of months.”

Crook Town, who are fourth, are at Easington, and they will be missing Joe Hillerby because of injury, but Matty Crossen returns to the squad. Daniel Kent and Ton Gavin will both have fitness tests.

Manager Jamie Tunstall said; “Easington will pose a tough test for us, they’re a good team who have made some good signings of late and are only a few points behind us. It’s another tough game in a busy period for us, but the lads are doing well.”

Chester-le-Street go to second placed Redcar and are missing several players – Niall Fingleton, Jak Mitchell, Callum Greaves and Harrison Scott – while Andrew Clarkson, Lee Turner and Joe Blackbourne are all doubtful.

Manager Colin Wake said; “We go with limited numbers, but with confidence after an improved battling performance last week. Redcar are flying at the minute so we will need a similar if not better performance than last week to get anything from the game.”

Redcar have re-signed striker Adam Preston from Thornaby, whom he joined earlier in the season.

Redcar manager Steve Connolly, whose side is six points ahead of Crook having played two games more, said: “This will be a tough game because Chester are well-organised, so we’re pleased to bring Adam back to the club.”

Tow Law are at third bottom Washington, fresh from their 7-0 win over Brandon last week. Lewis Milner and Mark Pattison are both missing because of suspension, and manager Micky Vasey said; “We’re expecting a hard game against Washington on their 3G pitch.”

Bottom club Brandon look for only their second league win of the season at home to Willington, and they will have their senior players in charge after manager Rob Bowron quit in midweek. They hope to make an announcement about the manager’s job after the game.

Willington will be missing Dale Elgie and Luke Bailey and will give new signing Nick Smith his debut.

Willington manager Ibby Hassan said; “Brandon have parted company with their manager and could prove to be a difficult challenge. As with any club that is going through change it can sometimes rally the players and we will have to be as professional as possible to get something from the game.”

Second bottom Durham City need to beat Newcastle University at Hall Lane to have a chance of overhauling third bottom Washington who are six points ahead of them, and they include new signings James Armstrong and Chris Pattinson in their squad. Joe Whelan, Jay Nicholson and Harry Wood are all injured.

In the other game, Esh Winning head over to Carlisle City.