BISHOP Auckland manager Ian Chandler is wary of a banana skin in Saturday afternoon’s second qualifying round Vase tie against West Allotment at Heritage Park.

Bishops saw off Newton Aycliffe in a replay in the last round, and Chandler is wary of opponents West Allotment, who are in the second division promotion race.

“Every game is a possible banana skin, but we are looking forward to it on the back of an excellent display last week and the season so far. The lads just want to play all the time. Allotment seem to have a lot of young lads, but with Paul Bennett in charge they will be very organised.”

Striker Chris Winn returns after suspension, but there are doubts over defenders Kieran Galbraith and Niall McGoldrick.

Crook Town have a tough away game at Ashington, made even tougher by their poor display in a 5-0 defeat at Billingham Synthonia in midweek.

“After our poorest performance of the season in midweek, maybe a cup tie is just what we need,” said manager Jamie Tunstall. “We’ll go to Ashington who are massive favourites, and nobody will give us a prayer. We’ll have to be better than what we have been recently.”

Chris Dunwell, Joe Peel and Callum Smith will all be missing, but Phil Caley returns.

Northallerton are at home to Steeton, who are in their Vase competition, and play in Keighley. Keeper Tom Dawson is doubtful because of injury, but Dale Elgie, Jack Proctor and Stephen Cheeseman are all expected to return. Kerry Hedley and Josh Knox are both still out injured.

Steeton are from the North West Counties League First Division North.

Meanwhile, chairman Dave Watson has submitted his resignation, and has taken up an administrative role at Darlington.

Tow Law are on their travels to Nelson in Lancashire, and will be missing defender Liam Whitworth because of suspension.

Brandon, who are without a league win this season, are at home to Washington.

In the other matches, Redcar Athletic play their first ever FA Vase game at Bedlington.

In the Northern League, Shildon manager Danny Moore has targeted 85 points to win the title as they prepare for their away game at North Shields on Saturday.

Shildon have stumbled in recent weeks, picking up only five points in the last fifteen available, but Moore said; “We’ve lost ground in recent weeks because players have been missing for various reasons. But they’re slowly coming back now. I reckon that if we can get 85 points, then we’ve got a good chance of winning the league.”

The Railwaymen are currently joint top with Hebburn, while Shields are in midtable.

Striker Billy Greulich-Smith is unavailable and Moore is suspended, but defender Mattie Robson returns to the squad.

West Auckland, who lost to Sunderland RCA in midweek, are at Stockton Town.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “We’re looking for a positive reaction. We played well at times on Tuesday and should have been two or three up before we switched off and let them back into the game.”

Defender Dan Parker and midfielder Alex Francis are both missing, while midfielder Anthony Bell is injured. West are currently fourth in the table.

In the second division, leaders Chester-le-Street defend their 100 per cent record against Heaton Stannington, and manager Colin Wake will have a full squad to choose from.

“We’re expecting a really tough game from Heaton who haven’t started as well as usual but they are a very dangerous side with threats all over the front players,” he said. “ But we start the game full of confidence that if we play well, we have a chance of gaining points from the game.”

Willington have a tough home game against joint leaders Thornaby, and they are hoping to include a new signing in their line up, but winger Craig Ruddy is out injured, while forward Jason White will have a fitness test.

Esh Winning are at home to Jarrow in one of the other games.