Marske United have been forced to switch their home game with Shildon to Billingham Town on Saturday.

The Seasiders’ Mount Pleasant pitch has fallen foul more than most others to the winter’s bad weather, and after their midweek home game against Stockton was postponed, they still have 21 league games to play, nine of them at home.

The pitch is now in such a state that the club approached the league for permission to switch today’s game with Shildon’s agreement, and the league approved the idea.

Marske manager Carl Jarrett said; “Our pitch has been giving us problems for a while now, it’s impossible to play on it at the moment.”

Marske are currently fourth in the table, and mathematically still have a chance of overhauling leaders Morpeth, who are 24 points ahead having played nine games more.

Defender Matthew Bell is missing because of injury for Marske, while Shildon are level on points with Marske but have a worse goal difference.

Shildon will give striker Adam Burnicle and defenders Marc Ellison and Jamie Harwood fitness tests, while midfielder Lewis Dodds has left the club by mutual consent.

Bishop Auckland, who are sixth bottom, are looking anxiously over their shoulders at the relegation zone which is just four points behind, and they are at home to second bottom Washington.

Manager Colin Myers has signed defender Niall McGoldrick on a permanent basis from Whitby, but striker Andy Johnson, midfielder Stuart Thompson and defenders Mattie Weirs and Aiden Hart will all have fitness tests.

West Auckland, who are in sixth place, are at home to second placed Consett.

Striker Amar Purewal is unavailable, otherwise they will be at full strength. West won the reverse fixture by 3-2 at Consett in September.

Newton Aycliffe’s seven game unbeaten run will be tested against league leaders Morpeth at Moore Lane.

Morpeth have only lost twice in 15 away league games this season, and manager Deano Browne said; “It’s a massive game against the league leaders. We played well against them at their place at the start of the season but we expect them to be a different entity now and are looking forward to the challenge.”

Defender Liam Browne is missing because of injury, otherwise Aycliffe are at full strength.

In the second division, leaders Northallerton have a tough home game against Willington, who are unbeaten in their last eleven league matches.

Defender Elliott McGlade is out because of suspension, while Mattie Crossen, Richie Walker and Colin Anderson all return.

"The lack of midweek games has meant we have been able to train effectively with our mid-week sessions being more productive and beneficial and I'm looking forward to Saturday to see the performance from the team," said manager Darren Trotter, whose side is three points clear of second placed Whickham.

Willington will be missing striker Damon Ellis, and manager Rob Lee said; “It’s a difficult away game against a top of the league side. If we play like we can, we will give them a good game.”

Tow Law, who are in fifth place, are at home to fourth bottom Bedlington, and looking for their first win in three matches. Manager Steve Murray could make a new signing before the game, but defender Adam Knowles is definitely missing because of suspension.

Bedlington have lost ten times on their travels this season.

Brandon, who are third bottom, have a big task on their hands at home to Heaton Stannington who are in the promotion pack. They include new signings Jack Errington, Warren Byrne and Grant Hickman, but Nathan Stephenson is out injured, while Lee Blades, Connor Lowes and Reece Marshall will have fitness tests.

Manager Steve Skinner said; “We’re looking for a massive reaction to a poor performance last week.”

Durham City have slipped into midtable in recent weeks, and they’re at home to fifth bottom Crook Town.

Alan Dobinson will have a fitness test, while Callum Smith and Ste Malloy are both missing. Manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “We’re really excited for the game. We are on a little bad run so hopefully we can get back to basics and get a win to climb the table again. We must do better in all areas to get a result.”

Crook are hoping to bounce back from their 6-1 home drubbing by Blyth Town last week, and manager Chris Lax said; “It’s another crucial game in which we must compete and hopefully get something.” Forward David Paul returns after suspension, and defender Matthew Stephenson after injury.

Esh Winning, who haven’t won in six games, are at home to Chester-le-Street and manager Tony Boakes said; “We have been playing well recently without getting the results so we’re looking forward to a cracking game.”

Nick Marley and Kai Hewitson will both have fitness tests, while Matty Soulsby, Shaun Reay and Callum Boakes are all missing.

Second bottom Darlington RA are at home to Easington, and desperately need the points. Defender Andrew Lonsdale and keeper Phil Pentony are both out injured, but other than that they will be at full strength.

The draw for the semi finals of the Durham Challenge Cup is: Consett v Shildon, Dunston UTS v Hartlepool United. Ties to be played by 3rd March.