Penrith target boost

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ONLY one game is programmed in the Ebac Northern League First Division tonight but the result will be of significance to Sunderland RCA and the other sides fighting to avoid joining Billingham Town and Hebbun Town in Division Two next season.

Penrith, whose form has improved in recently weeks, are nevertheless not out of the woods even though they are eight points in front of Team Northumbria, who currently occupy the last relegation place.

The Cumbrians host Billingham Synthonia who will hand a debut to centre half Andrew May, signed from neighbours Billingham Town. He will be a straight replacement for David Abel who is unable to make the journey into Cumbria.

In Division Two, three of the fives sides challenging for promotion are in action.

Leaders North Shields, who are six points ahead of West Allotment Celtic with a game in hand and a vastly superior goals difference, start favourites at fourth bottom Alnwick Town.

West Allotment line up with third from the basement Esh Winning at Waterhouses while outsiders Heaton Stannington meet Stokesley SC, who came within a whisker of defeating North Shields at the weekend.

Brandon United are second bottom, six points in front of Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, before hosting Birtley Town.

In the remaining fixture South Shields travel to Whitehaven with both teams in the bottom seven.