Brandon’s new manager Steve Skinner says that he wants to test himself in charge of the second division club, beginning on Saturday at home to Bedlington.

Skinner has been manager of several ENL clubs in the past, notably Celtic Nation when they were backed by a millionaire, and now he has taken over at a club that hasn’t won in seven league and cup games, and has dropped to third bottom of the table, a point above the relegation zone.

and he said; “It wants to test myself by going somewhere in the second division, instead of the first division. I want to be somewhere completely different.

“The club has plans for the future, and I want to help them on and off the field. I can improve the players in the team, and help them in various ways off the field.

“The main aim for the time being is to stay in this league, and then next season aim for midtable. I’ve got nothing to lose because of the situation they’re in, and the budget they’ve got.”

In the first division, Shildon will give a debut to new striker Mattie Waters when Dunston UTS visit Dean Street. Waters, signed from Washington, will give the Railwaymen the extra firepower that manager Danny Moore feels that they need.

West Auckland, who are in sixth place, are at Guisborough whom they thrashed 9-0 earlier in the season. They expect to be at full strength, with only defender Ross Colquhoun missing because of injury, and manager Gary Forrest said; “We need to build on last week’s win in the FA Vase.”

West have an excellent away record, of seven wins and two draws in their 12 away matches so far.

Sixth bottom Bishop Auckland can take a big step away from the relegation zone by beating fourth bottom Jarrow Roofing at Heritage Park. Bishops boss Colin Myers will choose from a full squad, except for midfielder Priestley Griffiths, who is suspended. Bishops won 2-0 at Roofing earlier in the season, and are seven points ahead of them in the table.

Newton Aycliffe go to Ashington and will give midfielder Stuart Banks a fitness test on a knee injury, but defenders James Oliver and Dan Mitton are both out.

Manager Deano Browne said; “It’s one of the toughest trips of the season and their good result in midweek at Dunston then they will be confident. We have trained well this week so we’re confident of going up there and doing something.”

The sides drew 1-1 at Moore Lane earlier in the season.

In the second division, leaders Northallerton go to Jarrow, whom they beat 6-2 earlier in the season. Andrew Shepherd, Shaun Hudson, Karl Hewitt and Liam Jarvie are all expected to return after injury.

Manager Darren Trotter said; “We start the day in pole position in the league and our aim as always is to win each game and just see where that takes us. There are no such things as easy games in this league and I expect a hard game on their patch.”

Fourth top Tow Law are hoping to recover from their midweek 7-1 thumping in the league cup at Consett in midweek when they go to West Allotment.

Glenn Caygill and Lewis Brown will both return after suspension, as Lawyers look for their fourth away league win of the season.

Allotment, who play on a 3G surface near Newcastle airport, have climbed up to seventh from bottom in recent weeks, Durham City, who have won their last three games to go seventh, have a big away game at Heaton Stannington, and they are boosted by the returns of Brad Hird and Nathan Armin, while Jeremy Allen will have a fitness test.

Manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “We’re really looking forward to a difficult test against a good side. If we perform and work hard we will have a great chance of getting a result. Our form has been good so hopefully we can continue to progress.”

Second bottom Darlington RA are at home to Crook, two places and six points above them.

The RA, who have only won once at home this season, welcome back keeper Phil Pentony, while there are fitness doubts over David Harrison and Daniel MacLachlan.

Crook will be at full strength except for defender Ryan Coles, who is struggling with a hamstring injury.

Willington, who have won their last five matches in all competitions, are at home to Chester-le-Street, and manager Rob Lee will probably choose from a full squad.

Chester, who have won their last three league matches, will give fitness tests to Kieron Megran, Tom Iley and Craig Marron, but Arran Reynolds, Kevin Dixon, Josh king and Lee Mole all return to the squad.

Manager Colin Wake said; “We are expecting a tough game against an improving Willington side who have recruited well and are pushing for a promotion place. We go into the game confident that if we show the same determination and willingness to do the right things more often than not, that we have seen over the last few league games, we are capable of getting a result.

Esh Winning go to second placed Blyth , and their squad is strengthened by the returns of several players, including recent signings Kai Hewitson and Matty Soulsby, who missed the midweek EA Cup defeat at Hebburn.