Newton Aycliffe are hoping to play their first home game in over two months when they play Shildon in their local derby at Moore Lane today.

Aycliffe’s last home game was against Billingham Synthonia back on 18th November, and since then they have played five away games and drawn them all, to keep them eight points above the relegation zone.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “We’re looking forward to a home game because we haven’t played at home for three months. We have some big games coming up and we’re looking forward to this one to see if the hard work has paid off.”

Liam Browne is out with a knee injury, while Marc Costello and Alan Harrison will have fitness tests.

West Auckland have a tough home game against runaway league leaders Morpeth, who have a 19-point advantage over second placed North Shields.

Manager Gary Forrest chooses from a full strength squad, and says; “We’re playing a very good Morpeth side and we are looking to test ourselves.”

Morpeth put eight past Blyth Spartans in midweek in the Northumberland Senior Cup.

In the second division, leaders Northallerton are hoping to bounce back from two reversals in a week at home to bottom club Alnwick. They lost in the league last Saturday, and then in the North Riding Senior Cup on penalties in midweek. Manager Darren Trotter is poised to make changes to his starting eleven.

Tow Law, who lost last week at Billingham Town and slipped down to fifth place, are at home to Ryton and Crawcrook. They include new midfielder Damon Reaks, signed from Darlington RA, while defender David Mitchell returns from injury. However full back Adam Knowles is suspended for his dismissal last week.

Second bottom Darlington RA, who have lost their last three matches, are at home to fifth bottom West Allotment and desperately need a win.

Manager Paul Edwards said; “It’s a massive game for the club, we need a morale- and confidence-boosting win.”

New signing Glenn Donaldson will make his return debut, but keeper Phil Pentony is injured, midfielder Michael Joseph is suspended, while there are injury doubts over James Wilson, Mark Sims and Danny Lofts.

Willington, who are unbeaten in their last nine league games, are at Jarrow and they include new signing Robbie Williamson from Washington. “It will be a hard away game, we need to be on our top form,” said Willington manager Rob Lee.

Crook Town, who still aren’t completely clear of trouble in 16th place, have a tough home game against second in the table Blyth AFC.

Defender Ryan Coles is out with a rib injury, while striker Kyle Morris and defender Matthew Stephenson are both doubtful with injuries.

Manager Chris Lax said; “We’ve a tough game ahead against a promotion-chasing side. We need to concentrate for 90 minutes and take any chances that come our way.”

Esh Winning, who drew 2-2 with Brandon in midweek after being two goals up at one stage, are at home to Billingham Town.

Nick Marley, Matthew Allison and Shaun Reay are all back in the squad, and manager Tony Boakes said; “Billingham Town are a very good, well-organised side, and we’ll be looking to better our 1-1 draw from earlier in the season.”

Brandon, who are two points above the bottom two thanks to their midweek point, are at Hebburn. They have signed veteran striker Warren Byrne, but he isn’t ready for his debut yet because of injury.

Manager Steve Skinner said; “The squad’s attitude and ability over last three or four games has been very good with leaders all over the park and the improvement from individuals is very pleasing. I believe now that no-one will like playing against us.”

Chester-le-Street go to Thornaby and will be missing Danny Naylor, Josh King, Daniel McGuire, Alex White and Lee Mole, while Daniel Hepplewhite, Kieran Megran and Brandon Moran all return.

Manager Colin Wake said; “We are hoping to get a new signing on board to freshen the squad. We are looking for an improved performance as over the last three games we haven’t done ourselves justice after a little mini run saw us pull away from the bottom of the table.”

Thornaby had a good win in midweek at Northallerton in the North Riding Senior Cup.