Bishop Auckland have a big game in their fight against relegation when they go to Dunston UTS on Saturday.

Bishops have dropped into the relegation battle because of four straight defeats, while the other clubs around them such as Ryhope CW and Penrith, have collected points recently.

They avoided dropping into the bottom three yesterday when third bottom Jarrow Roofing lost at Seaham Red Star, leaving them three points above the drop zone.

But manager Colin Myers is determined that his team will climb out of their current predicament, and said; “I have never been with a club that has been relegated, and I’m determined, along with the players, to battle for every point available.”

Myers could make changes after their 5-1 defeat at Newcastle Benfield in midweek, but top scorer Andy Johnson is definitely out because of injury. Another striker, Luke Sullivan, returned to South Shields last week following the end of his loan, while Chris Winn has arrived from Jarrow Roofing.

Shildon still have hope of finishing in second place and promotion to go with it, and they head to Ryhope CW.

They hope to complete the signing of striker Brad Hird from Durham City before the game, and manager Danny Moore said; “We need to win and keep the pressure on the teams around us.”

Defender Jamie Harwood is missing because of suspension, while centre half Carl Jones is injured. Midfielder Jack Turnbull is also unavailable.

West Auckland, who are in fourth place, are at home to Sunderland RCA, and they will give fitness tests to midfielder Adam Mitchell and defender Ross Colquhoun. Manager Gary Forrest said; “It will be a tough game because RCA are a hard team to beat.”

Newton Aycliffe, who are looking safe from relegation in 14th place, are at Newcastle Benfield, but they will be missing several players, Liam Browne, Alan Harrison, Marc Costello, Aaron Brown and James Oliver, for various reasons. However, Glen Lane returns after injury.

At the top, Marske United continue their pursuit of league leaders Morpeth when they go to Ashington. Marske beat Morpeth in midweek to go 18 points behind with ten games in hand.

In the second division, Darlington RA can take another big step away from trouble if they can win at Chester-le-Street.

The RA beat Alnwick in midweek to lift them to third bottom of the table, and assistant manager Mike Colman said; “It was a massive win for our confidence, and the team now is now kicking on at the right time of the season. It’s always a physical encounter at Chester-le-Street but we are on form so the lads can’t wait for the game.”

Jordan Hanratty and Michael Joseph are both struggling with injuries, while they will include midfielder Kieran Edwards, signed from Billingham Synthonia in midweek.

Chester are missing several players because of a wedding, while there are doubts over Lee Mole and Kevin Dixon, while Josh King and Dan Walker both return to the squad.

Manager Colin Wake said; “We are looking to continue our recent upturn in form and build on the last few improved performances.”

Second bottom Brandon have a big local derby at Willington, and they are definitely missing four players, while Jordan Lee and Decklin Moss will both have fitness tests.

Manager Steve Skinner said; “We are down to only eleven fit players which isn’t great with the situation we’re in.

“On the positive side, we deserve more from the way we have played over the last few games, but we don’t get the rub of the green. I could not ask any more from the group of players.”

Willington are missing five players for various reasons, but Conor Winter and Chris Storey both return.

At the top end of the table, Tow Law need to win at Jarrow in order to keep the pressure on the top five. Lewis Brown and Adam Knowles are both missing, but Lewis Harrison and Ben Collinson both return after injury.

Crook, who are fifth from bottom, are at Hebburn and want to recover from their heavy defeat last Saturday at home to Northallerton.

Forward Adam Lee-Shields and midfielder Christian Holliday are both unavailable, while full back Daniel Johnston will have a fitness test. Teenagers Curtis Robertson and winger Joel Gordon are both added to the squad.

Crook manager Chris Lax said; “It’s a big game for both teams in which a result is a must. We have to turn up and be counted.”

Durham City are at Ryton and Crawcrook, and they include new signing Matthew Stevenson from Crook, because it looks as if Brad Hird is on his way to Shildon. “We’re looking forward to the game against a tough side,” said manager Olly Hotchkiss. “We need to be more consistent in our performance and get a positive result.”

In the other game, Esh Winning are at home to Easington.