ALTHOUGH they haven’t received official confirmation, Easington Colliery are on their way back to the Ebac Northern League.
Cleator Moor Celtic and Horden CW also applied for promotion but the Cumbrians’ facilities failed the test.
Although Horden’s ground met the criteria, they can’t catch their neighbours, who only need to finish in the top five.
“Cleator Moor could overtake us, but they are now out of the running. I don’t think they can appeal so hopefully everything is okay, but until I hear from the FA I’m taking nothing for granted,” said Colliers’ secretary Billy Banks.
Manager Paul Frame and assistant Craig Parkinson are going all out to end runners-up to Stockton Town, who will be crowned champions if they take just one point at Ashbrooke Belford House.
The Colliers should be good for another three points at wooden spoonists Annfield Plain even though they’ll need to make changes.
Luke Page, Kyle Sumner, Kyran Whitehead, Chris Pearson, Shaun Smith and Marc Moon are all out with Bryan Norton, Dale Spence, David Paul, Kevin Humble and Gavin Nesbitt added to the squad.
At one time Annfield Plain was a hot bed for local football when they played the likes of Sunderland Reserves in the North Eastern League.
Those days have long since passed and the North West Durham side find themselves firmly rooted to the bottom of the table with little hope of claiming points from their last two games, both of which are against Easington.
Ashbrooke Belford House have a daunting task against Stockton Town, who will clinch a third consecutive championship if they claim just one point at Silksworth.
Ashbrooke though will not be overwhelmed since recently they gave the Teessiders a good game before losing 2-0 in the Sunderland Shipowners’ Cup Final. The second goal came in the last minute.
Mark Green and Keiran Stoke are out, but joint manager Asa Dobbing reports that David Scott and Lewis Hutchinson come into the squad.
Sunderland West End are still in a good position to achieve their aim of a top-five finish, but they’ll need to pick up points at Jarrow where joint managers Anth Nelson and Mick Bussey will have a strong squad available.
Silksworth CW play their penultimate fixture at Prudhoe Town with Liam Gill recovered from injury. Michael McVay will captain the side which also includes Ross Stead and Micky Smith.
Mattie Thompson is ruled out of Prudhoe’s last four games but Jonathan Yip resumes and there’s a chance Kevin Moreland will come through a fitness test.
Spennymoor Town Reserves await news on injured pair David Atkinson and Neil Charlton before finalising their squad for the fixture with Boldon CA on South Tyneside.
Horden CW complete the season hoping to hang onto fourth place and a win at Cleator Moor Celtic will enhance their chances.
Manager Keith Brown definitely misses Michael Pattison and John Pyle and awaits news on the availability of Michael Cain, Luke Wilson, Chris Davidson and Paul Moss.
There’s a local derby at the Seaside between Hartlepool and Seaton Carew.
Pools are enjoying a good end to the campaign and with Luke Naylor, Lee Jones and Carl Mottram named, should be too strong for their neighbours, who have conceded 138 goals in 35 games.
Harton and Westoe sign off at Redcar Athletic with Jack Burrell back in action. Redcar, looking to finish fifth, are boosted with the inclusion of goalkeeper Liam Moores, Will Turnbull, Ross Burdon, Adam Hartnett, Aaron Dale and Kyran Clark.