LEADERS Heaton Stannington host second-placed Carlisle City for what should prove a mouth-watering clash in the semi-finals of the Kicks Leisure George Dobbins League Cup in the Alliance match of the day.
However, it is all eyes on the bottom of the table in the League as Rutherford will be without midfielder Alv Rasmussen for the next two weeks.
They are, though, bouyed by the return of goalkeeper Rob MacGregor for their relegation six-pointer at Ponteland United.
Percy Main’s management team of Gareth Allan and assistant Grant Crook have been busy in the transfer market and their new signings this week include Liam Bainbridge, who has Northern League experience with Birtley Town, and defender Lindsay Collinson, who has been snapped up from Cramlington Town ahead of their equally important game with basement side Murton.
At the other end of the table, third-placed Killingworth host Hebburn Reyrolle, who have almost a full-strength squad from which to select.
Ross Phillips is unavailable, and Craig Malley will miss out due to work for a game manager Mark Collingwood believes his side should approach like a cup final.
He said: “We need to put a winning run together.
“It is now or never as far as a challenge for the title is concerned, but if we can string together a few good results and close the gap on the leaders – starting with Killingworth – then anything could happen.”
Ashington Colliers are without Chris Smith, who is sidelined with a stomach problem, otherwise manager David Brown hopes to be able to select from a full squad for their derby with Blyth Town.
Seaton Delaval travel to local rivals Shankhouse hoping to avenge an earlier home defeat. Gareth Armstrong has rejoined Cullercoats, but Matt Wade and Michael Fenwick are expected to return after illness and work commitments.