Crook Town manager Jamie Tunstall admits that Marske United are the favourites for their big FA Cup preliminary round tie at the Millfield this afternoon – but he has plenty of belief in his players to cause a Cup shock.

Crook are two divisions below their NPL opponents, and they go into the game on the back of a disappointing 2-1 home defeat by Newcastle University in the Northern League Second Division in midweek.

“Wednesday’s defeat wasn’t ideal preparation but a result we won’t dwell on it,” he said. “Let’s make no mistake, Marske are huge favourites and we’ll probably not face a better side this season.

“I will always believe in my players though and it will be a nice distraction from the league before a tough few fixtures.

“It’s a game I’m certainly looking forward to, and in the FA Cup it’s one you can get excited about. It’s been great to be involved in the Cup and it’s another great test to see how our lads hold up against top opposition.”

Harrison Scott and Tom Gavin are both missing, while Marske include strikers Adam Boyes and Matty Tymon, who were at Spennymoor and Whitby respectively last season.

Bishop Auckland travel across to Cumbria for their clash against Kendal, who are in the NPL North and West Division.

Bishops have lost their last two league games since beating Hall Road Rangers in the previous round, and manager Ian Chandler said; “Our three games so far have been a little disappointing, that said we deserved the win over Hall Road Rangers in the last round. We were very poor against Northallerton and then didn't deserve to lose in midweek at Benfield where we created the better chances but we just couldn't force over the line, in the end a deflected shot cost us.

“I believe this will be Kendal's first competitive game and as we've found it's taking a few games to get up to speed, so maybe we're playing Kendal at the right time. Should be a good game, we are taking 50-60 fans over so a good atmosphere will be there to help us.”

Striker Chris Winn has a swollen knee and will have a fitness test, while Kyle Morris and Jamie Marshall are both out injured.

West Auckland face their Northern League rivals Ashington at the Wanted Stadium, looking to bounce back from two heavy defeats against Shildon and Guisborough in the last week.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “We need to win, because the last two performances have simply not been acceptable.

“We will see which players have the desire.”

Several players are carrying injuries, but nevertheless Forrest could make changes from the Guisborough game.

On Teesside Stockton Town take on Billingham Town at Bishopton Road West after the game was switched from Bedford Terrace, which is without power.

The Anchors are unbeaten in three league and cup games so far this season, and manager Micky Dunwell will have a full squad to choose from, although there is an injury doubt over midfielder Lewis King.

In the ENL First Division, Newton Aycliffe take on Shildon in their local derby.

Shildon, who lost in midweek at Hebburn, are without Dom Curl, Chay Liddle, Joe Posthill and Alex White because of injury.

Manager Danny Moore said; “It’s a tough opening start to the season, but we must start being consistent. We need to go five or six games unbeaten.”

Northallerton, who have picked up four points from two games so far this season, are at home to Whickham, and they have injury doubts over Shaun Hudson, Ryan McKendry and Kieran McWaters.

In the second division, Willington, who won last Saturday against Durham, are at home to Heaton Stannington, and manager Ibby Hassan said; “Heaton have played two and drawn two against good sides. They are a physical side that defend well as a unit, and it will be difficult to break them down because they have plenty of experience.

“Our priority is to take three points, especially at home. This will be a good test of our credentials as we look to improve on last season’s midtable finish.”

Tow Law, with a win and a draw from their first two matches, face Ryton and Crawcrook at Ironworks Road.

Manager Micky Vasey hopes to bring in a couple of new signings, and said; “It’s always a hard game against Ryton.”

Esh Winning travel across to Carlisle City, who were heavily beaten at Billingham Synthonia in midweek.

They include new signing Tom Orton from Billingham Synthonia in their squad, while they add Matty Allison, Scott Arnott, Alex Goundry and Max Stoker to the squad that lost to Thornaby in midweek.

Manager Tony Boakes said; “We gave Carlisle a couple of good games last season, so we know we’re in for another very competitive game and our second long travel this week.”

In the other games, Durham City are at Jarrow, and Brandon are at home to Sunderland West End.