PETER Mulcaster has pledged to do all he can to retain Horden CW’s STL Northern League status.
A former player at Welfare Park, he returned earlier in the week when he was appointed manager to succeed Bobby Orton.
His new side languishes second-from-bottom and with uncertainty surrounding whether one or two teams will be relegated, his task is to ensure that the Colliers end at least third-from-the-basement.
He said: “Horden were one of many sides I played for and I enjoyed my time there.
“Since retiring from playing, I’ve been in management for 30 years and have a lot of experience of the Northern League which I hope to now put to good use and keep us in the league. It’s a massive challenge but one I’m looking forward to.”
Mulcaster wasted no time in getting back into action and on Tuesday night he took in Seaham Red Star’s game with Crook Town.
Tomorrow, he is in charge for the first time when the Colliers face another difficult test, this time at home to Esh Winning who haven’t given up on claiming one of the three promotion places.
Easington Colliery also recently changed their manager and Paul Adamson is now in charge. He too faces an uphill task with quite a gap to make up on Seaham Red Star, another East Durham side in trouble.
The Colliers host Whitehaven while Red Star, who were well beaten by Crook Town in midweek, travel to Morpeth Town.
“We were really disappointed with our performance and the result on Tuesday night but it’s important that we move forward and not look back. We are quite clearly in a relegation dogfight,” said assistant boss Kevin Turns.
Mark Moon resumes at Craik Park but both David Halliday and Wayne Henderson will need to have their fitness assessed before kick-off.
Chester le Street, playing in Division Two for the second consecutive season after spending more than a decade in the top flight, are also finding it difficult.
The Cestrians are fifth from bottom before their visit to promotion candidates West Allotment Celtic. Manager Anth Smith brings in Michael Coghlan and chairman Joe Burlison anticipates that the transfer of Luke Proctor from Crook Town will go through in time for him to make his debut.
Birtley Town are riding high after winning five of their previous six games and losing just one of the last 13.
Scott Oliver’s men are up to third before a crunch game with North Shields, who are also in the promotion frame.
“We are looking really solid and the lads now sense we are in with a chance of going up but it’s a big game at the Daren Persson stadium tomorrow,” said Oliver, who definitely misses Scott Emmerson.
In addition, Michael Hepplewhite and Dan Smith are struggling with injuries.
North Shields also have selection concerns with Paul Watson and Mark Rasmussen absentees. Manager Anthony Woodhouse, who has had to turn out himself in recent matches, awaits news on the availability of James Harmison, Daniel Patterson and Scott Blandford.
Washington are another side on the up in what has been a topsy-turvy season for them. At one stage they were fourth-top but then slumped to fourth-bottom.
Before the visit of leaders Team Northumbria, they are now comfortably placed and manager Richie Latimer is looking forward to an attractive game.
“Team like to get the ball down as we do so it should make for a good footballing spectacle between two in-form sides,” said Latimer.
The Newtowners are already looking ahead to next season and will apply for entry into the FA Cup.
“We weren’t in it this season but there’s something special about the FA Cup so we are going to give it a go,” added Latimer, who misses Lee Hamilton and Chris Compson tomorrow.