A NUMBER of clubs are engaged in the first qualifying round of the FA cup and one of the most attractive ties could well be at Woodhorn Lane where Ashington host former rivals Durham City who now play in the UniBond League Division One North.
The Colliers can not name Christian Graham who is cup-tied having played in the previous round for Whitley Bay but Dan Keenerley and Robbie Cowburn are named in a near full-strength squad.
“It will be good to renew acquaintances with Durham but it’s going to be a difficult test,” said Colliers official Brian Bennet.
Dunston Federation are also in action against UniBond League opponents in Whitby Town where Steve Pren and Kane Young return but Michael Dixon is unavailable.
“It will be difficult, make no mistake, since Whitby are two leagues higher than us in the pyramid system, but if we carry a bit of luck we might get a result,” said Fed secretary Bill Montagu.
Whitley Bay travel to Pickering Town and manager Ian Chandler misses Chris Moore, Darren Timmens and Brian Smith. He is also sweating on the availability of Lee Picton and will take reserves Darren Raey and Tom Kindley to Yorkshire.
Consett, who swept into the next round of the FA Vase defeating West Auckland Town in midweek, host North Ferriby United and Bedlington Terriers have home advantage over Bradford Park Avenue in what should be an attractive tie.
Joint manger Joe Lowery reports Colin Morton, John Milner and Tony Shandran are back but Andy Watson, John Sunderland and Michael Latimer are struggling with injuries. West Allotment Celtic aim to consolidate their position at the top of the Skilltrainingltd Northern League First Division when they go to Tow Law Town and their chances are enhanced since the Lawyers have five players suspended.
Kevin Dixon, Craig Wilkinson, Lewis Teesdale, Luke Sutherland and Anthony Marsh all sit out the game as does the injured Chris Redshaw.
Sunderland Nissan, three points off the top with two games in hand on Celtic, host South Shields with manager Wilf Constantine pleased to have Andrew O’Shea, Neil Tarrant and Chris Scott back in his squad.
Morpeth Town boss John King is likely to include John Campbell, who was at Manchester City last year in his line-up at Northallerton Town but he will have to wait on fitness reports concerning Ian Heron and Kevin Henderson.
Billingham Town manager Peter Mulcaster is pleased with the progress made by his young side and for the visit of West Auckland Town includes Gavin Simcox, Shaun Boynton and Ray Woodhouse in a full-strength pool.
Billingham Synthonia have so far been unable to emulate their neighbours and against Seaham Red Star will be hoping to record their second win of the campaign. They have Nathan Jameson, Brian Close, David Able and James Magowan in the line-up.
In Division Two Washington aim to go three games unbeaten after losing their first three. Keith Sheardown’s side are at Guisborough Town who are a point below the Newtowners near the foot of the table. Washington await news on the fitness of goalkeeper Paul Farman and Chris Jewels. Horden CW have signed striker Grahame Baverstock from Norton and Stockton Ancients who he will make his debut at Marske United. Hordon boss Simon Corbett has agreed to transfer Craig Ellison, Wayne Van Hughf and Michael Joseph at their own request.
Sunderland RCA manager Neil Hixon has strengthened his squad with a signing of David Tait from Sunderland Nissan and Michael Chapman who was at one time with Darlington but he has transfer-listed Shaun Davies and David Anderson.
RCA, who pre-season were expected to challenge for the title, have so far won just twice in five games and face another stern test when leaders Whitehaven visit Meadow Park.