Newton Aycliffe look to mark their last home game of 2012 with a vital victory against South Shields.
The Newtonians undid their hard work of beating Darlington and Penrith in successive victories with a poor 3-1 defeat in the return fixture with the Cumbrian side on Wednesday night.
It leaves the Royal Blues needing to beat bottom-club South Shields to keep a gap between themselves and the drop zone.
A win on Wednesday would have moved the club above Newcastle Benfield up to 18th in the table, but the defeat leaves Durham, Penrith and Billingham Town within five points, and all have games in hand.
But Aycliffe have never beaten the Mariners. Last season, the club were thrashed 4-1 at Moore Lane Park and were beaten 2-1 at Filtrona Park, a result which ended Aycliffe’s 11-match unbeaten run.
This season, Aycliffe led 3-1 at Filtrona and were easing to a first away victory of the season, but Paul Harvey conceded a needless penalty and Mark Peck was harshly dismissed to allow the Mariners claim a point.
Allan Oliver’s side cannot afford another slip-up against Jon King’s side.
Striker Sean Reay made a brief appearance from the substitute’s bench on Wednesday and is pushing for a full-debut following his move from Darlington, while left-back James Risbrough is waiting to make his Aycliffe bow.
Mark Wood made a rapid return from an ankle knock with a late appearance against Penrith, while fellow defender Darren Craddock will be back after being unavailable in midweek.
The game kicks off at Moore Lane Park at 3pm. Admission £5 adults, £3 concessions. The club’s annual Christmas draw will take place after the full-time whistle, with tickets still available to buy.