Crook Town’s promotion credentials from the ENL Second Division will be given a tough test when they go to league leaders West Allotment on Saturday.

Crook have had a great recent run of four wins and a draw from five matches to go third in the table, but this will be their toughest away game yet this season, against a team that last week won 7-0 at Chester-le-Street. Allotment play on a 3G pitch, so the game is almost certain to go ahead.

Manager Jamie Tunstall said; “We’re really looking forward to this game, because there is nothing better than testing yourself against the best side in the division. We’re in good form at the moment so we’ll go there hoping we can get something, but we’re under no illusions that West Allotment are top of the league on merit. We had a great result against them at our place, so we’ll be hoping for something similar.”

Joe Hillerby and Calum Johnston are both back in the Crook squad, but Arthur Connelly is unavailable. Crook beat Allotment 4-0 in one of their best performances of the season at the Millfield earlier in the season.

In the first division, Shildon face West Auckland in a local derby – weather permitting.

Shildon are currently in third place, with West six places and 14 points below them in ninth.

Danny Moore, Shildon manager, said; “We could do with having the game on, so then we can maintain our momentum.” He should choose from a full strength side.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest is returning to his previous club, and said; “Both sides need the win if they want to get promoted.”

Defender Chris Hunter is out because of injury, while Forrest has recalled midfielder Callum Guy from South Shields.

West are also wanting to bounce back from last week’s disappointing Vase exit at Plymouth Parkway Newton Aycliffe, who are in seventh place, nine points behind Shildon with two games in hand, are at home to Seaham Red Star, and could be at full strength.

League leaders Stockton Town are hoping to stretch their unbeaten run in the league to 19 matches at home to Newcastle Benfield.

Midfielder Kevin Hayes returns to the squad after injury, and manager Micky Dunwell said; “We want to keep our unbeaten run going, and maintain our lead at the top.”

Sixth placed Guisborough go to Ashington, knowing that they could go fourth if they win and other results go in their favour.

Strikers Craig Hutchinson and Steve Roberts will both have fitness tests, while manager Gary Forster has brought in new midfielder Jack Bailey from Thornaby.

Northallerton, who are third bottom, are at Ryhope CW, and hoping to continue their recent improvement which has seen them win twice in their last three matches.

Third bottom Thornaby face Hebburn at Teesdale Park, and they include new defender Mattie Robinson, signed from Billingham Town.

In the other second division matches, second placed Redcar Athletic go to Esh Winning, and they add Lance Skelton, Adam Preston and Chris Jackson to their squad after missing the midweek North Riding Senior Cup game at Scarborough Athletic.

Redcar are currently two points ahead of Crook, who have a game in hand.

Esh, who are seventh from bottom are without Dom McMahon, Scott Arnott, Glenn Donaldson and Sam Steele.

Billingham Synthonia can go at least fifth if they beat Chester-le-Street at Station Road, and they expect to be at full strength.

“The lads are flying and are doing well,” said Synners manager Dave Dickson.

Chester will be missing recent signing Alfie Pearn because of injury, and manager Colin Wake said; “We are looking for a response to our poor showing last week against West Allotment. We need to be more organised if we are to be competitive against another free scoring side.” Chester lost 7-0 at home to league leaders Allotment last week.

Willington are at home to Newcastle university, and will be without defender Kyle Wren because of suspension. Manager Ibby Hassan said; “Newcastle beat us in a quite a ridiculous ten goal thriller earlier in the season I’m hoping that this game is far less exciting. We absolutely must get back to winning ways and making the most of our oftentimes dominant football.”

Willington haven’t won in five league matches, and lost 6-4 to the Uni back in September.

Second bottom Brandon need to beat Sunderland West End to have a chance of catching third bottom Bedlington, and they include several new signings.

Bottom club Durham City have a big game at Bedlington, and they’re hoping to bring in at least two new signings before the game. However, Harry Wood, Spencer Soakwell, Peter Bryson Callum Reay, James Byrne, Lewis Herron and Jay Nicholson are all out injured.

Durham are currently three points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Tow Law’s home game with Carlisle was called off on Thursday night.