Gateshead will be without four players when they take on Welling United in The Skrill Premier this evening.
The Tynesiders made the long haul to Kent yesterday without captain Ben Clark, striker Colin Larkin, and midfield men Phil Turnbull and JJ O’Donnell.
Luton Town loanee O’Donnell missed Saturday’s 1-1 draw at play-off rivals Alfreton Town through illness, a game which saw Turnbull sent off in the first half.
With Turnbull serving a one-match suspension former Darlington schemer Jamie Chandler is in line to return to the starting line-up.
Clark is recovering from an operation on Sunday to remove his tonsils, while former Hartlepool team-mate Larkin also faces an operation.
“We played very well at Alfreton and need more of the same at Welling,” said manager Gary Mills. “With a few players missing it’s an opportunity for others to stake a claim. We’ve got cover at the centre of defence and plenty of midfield players on the books. We drew with Welling at our place and would like to go one better tonight.”
Veteran striker Jack Lester, brought out of retirement by Mills, will again be in the 16 and is in the frame to make his Gateshead debut off the bench.
Former Hull and Notts County teenager Jordan Holt could fill in alongside James Curtis at the centre of defence and make his Conference bow at Park View Road.
Welling are 14th in the table having lost six of their 15 games on home soil, while Gateshead are searching for an eighth away win of the campaign.