LEADERS Ponteland United have been dealt a blow as new signing Anthony Anzevui is sidelined with a hernia problem for the rest of the season.
Ross Phillips has returned to the squad following injury for their visit to Wark.
The black-and-whites travel up the Tyne Valley expecting another hard game. And secretary Alan Birkinshaw is keen to avoid a repeat of the game two years ago when Ponteland were on the wrong end of a 6-5 thriller.
Ashington Colliers boss David Brown welcomes back striker Michael Hogg after suspension, while midfielder Andrew Carr faces a fitness test for their game at home to Harraby CC.
The latter are missing a number of players this weekend due to Carlisle United’s trip to Wembley.
Alnwick Town are looking to keep their title hopes on track at Blyth Town, who are without Jonny Mann (work), Mark Waugh (suspended) and Neil Blades (injured), while Josh Miller has left the club to join Shankhouse.
His new team host Gateshead Rutherford with Marty Coleman, Kevin Ord and Dan Chambers vying to be back in the side, while Richie Atkinson and Chris Rue are unavailable.
Shankhouse were 2-1 midweek victors over Walker Central, but boss Garry Kirkup was full of praise for Mick Jeffels’ side.
“Youngsters in society get a load of stick, but Mick and his boys are a credit to the club and the Northern Alliance,” said Kirkup. “He included nine teenagers against us and they played some smashing stuff.”
Jeffels’ youngsters visit Carlisle City without influential midfielder Liam Mulligan and with captain Daniel Thompson a doubt, but Nabby Benny and Paul Chapman should return.
The two sides at the bottom of the table have tricky-looking fixtures as Murton are at home to Killingworth Sporting, and Cramlington Town visit Seaton Delaval Amateurs.
Heaton Stannington face Percy Main Amateurs in the fourth round of the George Dobbins League Cup, while Stocksfield are in Charity Cup semi-final action against Simonside SC.