1. West Auckland Town face tricky test against resurgent Newcastle Benfield

Fourth place West Auckland face a daunting trip to Newcastle Benfield who currently sit in seventh. West are on a fantastic run of form and unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions, and are the only team in the league to beat Dunston this season in their League Cup meeting last month. They’ll need to be at their best if they are to get something away to a resurgent Benfield side.

The Lions have transformed their season in recent weeks, picking up 13 points in their last five games – more than they won in their previous 12. They’ll also be buoyed after Richie Slaughter’s last minute goal saw them secure a remarkable 5-4 win against Runcorn in the FA Vase.

2. Goalscoring keeper Jordan Nixon due a clean sheet

This week saw Guisborough Town’s goalkeeper and captain Jordan Nixon receive an Outstanding Performance Award by the Northern Echo. This was for not one, but two, last minute equalisers this season, but while no doubt a fantastic achievement, it goes to show Guisborough’s struggles so far this campaign. Without a win or clean sheet in the league since late October, Nixon will surely be hoping for a quiet afternoon and not be needed again for any last minute heroics.

However they look to be up against it this weekend as they face a Bishop Auckland side who are unbeaten in nine, and currently sit third in the table. The Bishops are also the league’s second most prolific scorers, and showed as much in their 5-1 demolition of North Shields last weekend.

That said, if the Bishops are hanging onto a lead in the closing stages, they’ll do well to keep a close eye on the Guisborough skipper.

3. North Shields look to get season back on track

The Robins face another tricky game at home to Hebburn Town this weekend, completing a daunting run of matches where they’ve faced four of the current top five. After a difficult start to the season, things began to look up for Shields as they hit a fine run of form, only for their ambitions to take a dent after heavy defeats away to Consett and Bishop Auckland.

Going forward, the Robins have troubled the top sides, especially as they went ahead at both Dunston and Consett, however defensively they have been suspect with 11 goals conceded in the last two games. If they can find the right balance they should be able to trouble a Hebburn side that have been inconsistent of late.

Full list of fixtures – 08/12/2018 (all KO’s 1500)

Consett vs Ashington

Guisborough Town vs Bishop Auckland

Newcastle Benfield vs West Auckland Town

North Shields vs Hebburn Town

Penrith vs Shildon

Ryhope CW vs Whitley Bay

Seaham Red Star vs Dunston UTS

Stockton Town vs Sunderland RCA

Whickham vs Newton Aycliffe