Jarrow Roofing face a tough trip to Newton Aycliffe tomorrow hoping to upset the league form guide against their eighth-placed hosts.
Aycliffe find themselves a 18 points off the top of the table but have five games in hand on leaders Shildon and have fallen to only three league defeats all season – one of which came back in September at Boldon when Roofing blew them away 6-2.
And in the last six league games, the Newtonians find themselves at the top of the Northern League Division One form guide, dropping points at home to North Shields in their last league match back in December having won the previous five games.
However, Aycliffe come into the game having been roasted away at Camberley Town in the FA Vase last Saturday, going down 5-0, though that was followed by a fine 2-1 win at Washington in the Durham Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.
In contrast, Roofing have won one and drawn one of their last six games with that draw coming last Saturday at home to Penrith in a game that the Roofers should have won.
Yet despite the form guide, Roofing supremo Richie McLoughlin is travelling in an optimistic mood but with a grave warning for his team.
He said: “This will absolutely be a physical encounter and after we took three points off them earlier in the season, Aycliffe will be itching to even things up.
“If any of our players don’t feel up to the battle then I’ve told them to put their sicknotes in because there’s going to be no hiding place out there against a strong Aycliffe side.”
With Roofing finding points hard to come by, and suffering from inconsistent displays, Mcloughlin has also warned his players that the Moore Lane Park pitch will offer no shelter for anyone without the same appetite that he has.
“Every one of our team needs to turn up and get into the game,” he added. “There’s no way we can have anyone turning up and hiding out there on the pitch. I’ll see what’s happening and we can’t afford to carry anyone.
“Me and my backroom team will be up for the game and I expect the same of the playing squad.”
Roofing are sitting just three points above the relegation places, though the South Tynesiders have a number of games in hand on all but one of the teams around them and know that a spell of collecting points will see them reach a mid-table position quickly.
Josh Allan will return to the Roofing squad after missing out last week due to work commitments, though Anth Myers is expected to miss out due to a hand injury.