Second Division Easington have had a request for a postponement of Saturday’s game at Gillford Park turned down flat by the league.

Easington were stunned by the sudden departure of manager Andy Colledge in midweek, and with uncertainty growing at the club and nine players out injured, they are struggling to raise a team for the trip to Carlisle.

League chairman Mike Amos said: “Easington have real problems but to allow a postponement in such circumstances would set an impossible precedent.”

The club is hoping to appoint a caretaker manager before the game, and yesterday Alan Purves said: “We’ll do our best to raise a team, even if we go with less than eleven players.”

Easington couldn’t face a much tougher game, as Gillford Park are unbeaten in their last nine league matches, and are close to full strength.

Darlington RA are hoping to return to winning ways at Washington.

The RA have slipped out of the top three following a run of four league games without a win, and they will be without striker Fred Huscroft, midfielders Dave Webster and Jamie Smith, and defender Tom Ptak. Washington, who are a place below the RA in sixth, will be at full strength.

It’s bottom versus top at the Welfare Ground, where Horden have a tough test against Team Northumbria. Manager Brian Honour will be close to full strength, except for youngster Jordan Lavery. TN will probably be unchanged.

West Allotment, who have won their last five league matches, are at home to Esh Winning and they will give a fitness test to striker Scott Fenwick, while midfielder JD Hall is unavailable. Esh, who are in 12th place, add Dan Mitton to their squad, which means that they will be up to full strength.

Improving Crook are at Whickham, with Marc Riches back into the team after injury, but striker Alex Marshall is unavailable. Former Darlington midfielder Gary Pearson could also start the game after injury. Whickham could make changes after losing to Northallerton in midweek.

Northallerton, who have won three of their last four league matches, are at home to Ryton, and manager Mark Fanning could choose the same side, except for striker Colin Anderson, who is unavailable, so Gary Shardah replaces him,.

Second bottom Chester-le-Street are hoping to end their six game scoring drought at home to Thornaby, and manager Anth Smith will choose from a full squad. Chester’s last goal was against Bishop Auckland in the Vase on September 10th in their 5-3 defeat. Thornaby are almost up to full strength, with defender Danny Rowbotham, midfielder Liam Woodhouse and striker Tony Abel returning.

North Shields are at home to Seaham Red Star, and manager Anthony Woodhouse could make changes to the side that lost in midweek. Fourth bottom Seaham welcome back keeper Ryan Graham, as well as outfield players Craig McManus, Lee Peachey and Jonny Monaghan.

Birtley are at Alnwick, who parted company with their manager in midweek. Birtley manager Scott Oliver includes new defender Ricky Fenwick, signed from Newcastle Benfield, but midfielder Andy Inness is missing.

In the other game, Morpeth are at home to Brandon.