Four gunning for two promotion spots

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With Seaham Red Star already promoted as champions, four teams are competing for the two remaining places in Division Two.

The situation may be clearer following the clash between Washington and Hebburn Town at the Nissan Sports complex.

The Mechanics, equal on points with second-placed Team Northumbria, are five points better off than Hebburn, who have a game in hand.

Washington delay announcing their line-up while the South Tynesiders are forced to go without Mark Costello and Chris Smith.

“It’s a cup final for us and I reckon we need 10 points from our last four games to go up,” observed Hebburn boss Scott Oliver.

“Washington also cannot afford to slip up with Team North and Norton and Stockton Ancients also in the running.”

Team North, with only one game to play, visit Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, while Norton have a free day.

Ryhope CW take on bottom-of-the-table Brandon United unable to call upon Phil Hall, Martin Metcalfe, Craig Hughes and David Pounder, but fortunately Paul Braithwaite, Mattie Weirs and Josh Home-Jackson are able to turn out.

Chester-le-Street miss Steven Telford, Scott Heslop, Ben Johnson, Alistair Wilson and Jack Honour against in-form Thornaby at Chester Moor Park.

Champions Seaham Red Star have their sights on breaking the Second Division points record of 102, but to do so they’ll need to win their last three games starting at Esh Winning.

“The season’s not over yet and if we don’t get to 103, the very least is, looking for is 100 points,” said Mark Collingwood, who welcomes back Dean Nicholson and Carl Thorp, but Warren Byrne is sidelined with a hamstring injury.