Darlington RA are hoping to take a huge step towards safety from relegation in their six-pointer at Brandon on Saturday.

The RA are third bottom of the table, while Brandon are a place and a point behind them, and victory today would be a massive boost with just three games remaining.

The RA are without Chris Tarn and Daniel Flounders, but Lewis Rees, Mark Sim and Michael Joseph all return. Assistant manager Mike Colman said; “All our games are must-win games at the moment, and this is a massive relegation six pointer. The lads are up for the fight and are buzzing after Monday’s win, so bring it on.”

Brandon, who came back from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 with Chester in midweek, are badly hit by injuries, with several players missing, and manager Steve Skinner said; “We have brought players in who haven’t played for a long time, and they’ve done really well. They deserve to stay in the league, hopefully we can pick up three points and stretch our unbeaten run to four matches. The only thing that matters is three points.”

In the first division, Bishop Auckland are hoping to put some more daylight between them and the relegation zone by picking up points at Ryhope CW.

Bishops had a battling goalless draw with Marske in midweek to put them sixth bottom, five points above third bottom Jarrow Roofing, and manager Colin Myers could choose an unchanged side.

West Auckland continue their chase for third place at home to Whitley Bay, and they will be missing striker Ben Wood because of suspension.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “It’s important that we get the win to help consolidate third place.”

Shildon, who are four points behind West, play Newcastle Benfield for the second time in 48 hours, having beaten them 2-1 on Thursday night. Player-manager Danny Moore returns to the squad after being suspended in midweek.

Newton Aycliffe are at home to Durham Challenge Cup winners Consett, looking for a point that ensures their safety from relegation.

Striker Marc Costello and defender Aaron Brown are both unavailable, while keeper James Winter and defender Dan Mitton are out injured, and manager Deano Browne said; “We need to make sure that we keep our standards, and try and secure our place in the first division for next season.”

At the top, leaders Morpeth don’t have a game, so Marske United, who are guaranteed promotion now, can reduce their lead to six points if they beat bottom club Billingham Synthonia at Mount Pleasant. Marske need thirteen points from seven matches to win their second title.

Vase finalists Stockton Town – some of whose players are appearing in the FA Sunday Cup final for Hardwick tomorrow -- are at Penrith.

In the other second division games, Northallerton daren’t lose their home game against Esh Winning.

Darren Trotter’s side has dropped out of the top three promotion places following defeats in the last week at the hands of Whickham and Heaton Stannington, and now they’re in fourth place, level on points with Hebburn who have a game in hand.

“Our aim must now be to win all of our remaining games, and see where that takes us,” said Trotter.

Shaun Hudson and Aaron Ramsbottom are both suspended, while Richie Walker, Mattie Crossen and Stephen Cheeseman could all return.

Northallerton could do with a favour from Durham City, who are at home to top of the table Blyth AFC. Ste Malloy and Ross Simpson both return to the squad, while Jack Wilkie will have a fitness test. “It will be a very difficult game against the best side in the division, but if we perform well, we can hopefully get a positive result,” said manager Olly Hotchkiss, whose side hasn’t won in five matches.

Crook Town, who lost at Bedlington on Thursday, are at home to Chester-le-Street.

Midfielder Joe Joyce and defender Joe Spooner are both missing, while Adam Cumby will have a fitness test. Defender Ryan Coles returns to the squad.

Manager Chris Lax said; “We must roll our sleeves up and compete more than we did at Bedlington, as that performance wasn’t good enough.”

Chester have ten players missing for whatever reason, and manager Colin Wake is taking “damage limitation” into account in his team selection.

Tow Law play their fourth game of the week at home to second placed Whickham, while Willington go to West Allotment.