SEAHAM Red Star were the most active of the 44 STL Northern League clubs leading up to transfer deadline day.
Despite being managerless, they brought in five players in a bid to stave off the threat of relegation from Division Two.
Craig Price and David Gordon (Shildon), Lee Cresswell (Chester-le-Street), Robbie Blemings (Ryton and Crawcrook Albion) were joined by Paul Castledine from local football.
Assistant manager and secretary Kevin Turns said: “We needed to strengthen the squad and we were delighted to be able to bring in five newcomers.
“We defeated Horden CW last week and are now 10 points clear of Easington Colliery, who prop up the table.”
Since recently parting company with Steve Cook, Red Star received five applications for the vacant post, but Turns and Jim Ferguson will continue to take charge of the side during the final four games.
He added: “I would love to have a crack at it, but I’m doing other roles in the club. We’ve decided to wait until the close season before making an appointment.”
Seaham can take another step towards safety if they beat visitors Esh Winning tomorrow, but the future doesn’t look nearly so bright for Easington Colliery.
Although they have a game in hand, they trail neighbours Horden by six points before the visit of Thornaby, who are fourth bottom.
“All we can do is try and win every game and hope that our rivals slip up, but, whatever happens, we will have a side next season,” confirmed general manager Andy Colledge.
Recently, the Football Association and Easington Parish Council agreed to look at ways at which the Colliers can improve their facilities.
Horden CW have also experienced a torrid season and, for their game at fifth-bottom Brandon United, manager Peter Mulcaster is set to include Aaron Ramsbottom and Daryl Evans, who has been recruited from Peterlee Town.
Washington make the long journey to Whitehaven hoping to make it three wins on the bounce to enhance their chances of finishing in mid-table.
“I would have liked to have ended in the top half,” said manager Richie Latimer. “But that’s a big ask now. If we can go unbeaten in the last four games and perhaps edge into mid-table we’ll have had a reasonably good season.”
Washington cannot call upon Jake Leighton or Mark Covell, but Colin White returns.
Chester-le-Street are now free of any relegation worries and, for their attractive game at promotion hopefuls Hebburn Town, they again miss Callum Patton, Colin Vickers and Lee Richardson.
Six teams are fighting for the three promotion places, although North Shields are rank outsiders.
Team Northumbria lead the table and Hebburn will go level on points if they defeat Chester-le-Street.
Morpeth Town are the team of the season. After finishing bottom last time with only 15 points, they are third top with 75 points ahead of their crucial game against Northallerton.
Birtley Town are without a game, while Cumbrians Gillford Park are the other team in with a chance of going up.