Bishop Auckland manager Colin Myers says that today’s clash against bottom club Billingham Synthonia is a “must-win” game.

Bishops gave themselves some breathing space last Saturday when they beat North Shields 2-0, putting them six points above the relegation zone, although third bottom Jarrow Roofing have two games in hand.

“I expect a similar performance to last week,” said Myers. “The players must show the same attitude and application that made us look like a top half of the table side. Hopefully we’ll be able to get all our recent signings on the field.

“Our fate is in our own hands now, three points will be a massive result for us.”

Striker Andy Johnson won’t play any more games this season because of an ankle injury, while striker Ian Ward and midfielder Stuart Thompson both return.

Synners have had a wretched season, and will be relegated if they lose or draw today. Roofing are at Newcastle Benfield today.

West Auckland are looking for their second win of the week when they face Ashington at Darlington Road, and they will be at full strength again, with striker Nathan Fisher looking to add to his 41 league goals of the season.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “We need to continue where we left off to consolidate a top three place.”

Fifth placed Shildon are at second bottom Washington, who are relegated, and they will be without defender Jamie Harwood, who is missing because of suspension.

Manager Danny Moore said; “We’re looking for victory to help us finish in the top four.”

Washington were beaten 9-1 at home last week by Ryhope CW, which means effectively that there is only one more relegation place to fill.

Newton Aycliffe are at home to Sunderland RCA hoping to climb further into midtable, and they will be missing striker Matty Pennal, but Jamie Davis, Kurt Matthews and Aaron Brown will all return. Dan Mitton will have a fitness test.

Manager Deano Browne said; “RCA are the form side but we have been in form at home recently and will be working hard to secure three points and hopefully safety.” Aycliffe have won their last five home matches.

At the top, second placed Marske United play their second game in five days when they go to Dunston UTS – they still have 13 games to play by 5th May, with the postponed game at home to Seaham on Thursday to fit in now. They are playing on successive nights next week and the week after.

Leaders Morpeth are away at Ryhope Cw.

In the second division, Northallerton take on Tow Law in a crucial match for both clubs. Northallerton missed a chance to go top on Thursday when they surprisingly lost at home to Bedlington, so they remain third, just three points in front of Hebburn.

Tow Law are in sixth, twelve points behind Northallerton with two games in hand.

Durham City could do Northallerton if they can take points off Hebburn in their game. City could make changes after losing to Ryton on Thursday.

Crook, who are fifth bottom and in relegation danger, are at home to Heaton Stannington, and will give midfielder Adam Comby and winger Dan Smith fitness test, while winger Daniel Johnston and midfielder Callum Johnson both return after injury.

Manager Chris Lax said; “We need three points and will get them if we cut out individual errors. Our team talks are becoming boring as we keep going over the same basic things each game.”

Darlington RA have a big away game at Jarrow, but they will be without striker Glen Donaldson is suspended, although everyone else is available.

Assistant manager Mike Colman said; “It’s a tough game at a workmanlike side. We are looking to carry on our good form and match their workrate and hopefully take the three points.”

Chester-le-Street can do the RA a favour by winning at bottom club Alnwick, and they will be missing Aaron Reynolds and Sam Moore, otherwise they will have a full squad.

Manager Colin Wake said; “We are hoping to continue our good run of form against an improving Alnwick.” Chester are unbeaten in their last three matches.

Esh Winning are at home to fifth placed Thornaby, and they will be missing five players for various reasons, but Gavin brown and Carl Robinson both return.

In the other game, Willington are at home to Billingham Town and will have almost a full squad to choose from.