Party time for Seaham Red Star

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SEAHAM Red Star will be partying tonight when Ebac Northern League chairman Mike Amos presents the Second Division Championship Trophy to captain Chris Scott before the home game with Willington.

“It promises to be a great occasion and I’m hoping fans turn out in force. Mike will make the presentation at 7.15pm and once the game kicks off, we’ll be looking for another three points.

“We’ve achieved our objective, but we also want to finish on a high by securing 100 points and to do so we’ve got to win our last two matches,” said secretary David Copeland.

The Star were relegated in 2009 and three seasons ago the club almost collapsed.

It was then they brought in Mark Collingwood as manager. During his first season he took the side to tenth and last year they only missed out on promotion because they had three points deducted.

“In three seasons, Mark has turned our results around and I’m pleased to report that he’s staying with us. In fact, he’s already making arrangements for next season,” added Copeland.

Chester-le-Street are also in action tonight when they travel to Alnwick Town, but their chances of getting a result are not good since manager Colin Wake misses no fewer than 10 players.

Tomorrow, Washington will hope to join Seaham Red Star in the top flight. A point from their last two games will be sufficient, but whether they can start the celebrations rolling at Thornaby remains to be seen.

“They are the in-form side so we’ll have to be up for it,” observed manager Steven Hutchinson, who is pleased to have Mattie Fisher back from holiday, but an ankle injury rules out Mark Grant.

Team Northumbria are second-top, but have completed their programme and can be overtaken not only by Washington, but also by Norton and Stockton Ancients and Hebburn Town.

Norton should be good for three points at home to third-bottom Esh Winning who have conceded 129 goals – more than any other side.

Hebburn host Heaton Stannington in the knowledge that nothing short of a win will keep them in contention.

They too could find it difficult since the Stann, boosted by the availability of Adam Rowntree, Jordan Reay and Lee Johnson are unbeaten in their last 11 games.

Ryhope CW are in with an excellent shout of finishing seventh and at home to Stokesley SC, line up Phil Hall, Martin Metcalfe, David Pounder, Nathan O’Neill and Craig Hughes – but Jack Pounder is banned.

In Division One, four sides are battling it out for the championship. Shildon are in the strongest position and if they win their last four games they will end in pole position.

They travel to relegated Celtic Nation while North Shields, equal on points with Shildon but with an inferior goals difference, face a difficult afternoon against Dunston UTS.

The Robins cannot call upon injured goalkeeper Michael Robinson, who is hoping to be fit for the FA Carlsberg Vase Final against Glossop North End at Wembley next month.

Chris Bannon deputises at the UTS Stadium and manager Graham Fenton will also consider playing Ryan Carr and John Grey.

Dunston, aiming for a top-six finish, are boosted with the inclusion of Stephen Harrison, David Coulson and Gary Ormston.

Leaders Guisborough Town end their season at Morpeth Town where they desperately need all three points to keep alive their chances.

Morpeth are having a say in the destination of the championship. On Wednesday they held Shildon to a draw and following tomorrow’s fixture, meet North Shields next Wednesday.

“Guisborough are bringing a lot of supporters to Craik Park and there should be a good atmosphere, but we’ll be trying our best to spoil the party,” said manager Nick Gray whose only absentee is Michael Fenwick.

Durham City are just below mid-table ahead of the visit from Ashington. Boss Ian Chandler has Chris Wallace out with a broken foot, but Aidan Haley has recovered from a similar injury.

Ashington are one place below the Citizens and the former Whitley Bay player Craig Smith is likely to be handed his debut at New Ferens Park.