SEAHAM Red Star aim to take another step towards promotion and the championship by defeating Northallerton Town in Division Two at Seaham Town Park tomorrow.
Manager Mark Collingwood has worked out that even if all the other challengers win their remaining games, his side will require only five points for promotion and seven for the title.
It’s been a crazy season. We went on a magnificent winning sequence but still haven’t clinched promotion but I’ll be absolutely distraught if we don’t make it – and make it soonMark Collingwood
“Last season, we had 85 points and missed out by only one point,” said Collingwood.
“With only eight games to play, we already have 84 and a much better goals difference, which is worth a point.
“It’s been a crazy season. We went on a magnificent winning sequence but still haven’t clinched promotion but I’ll be absolutely distraught if we don’t make it – and make it soon.”
Several players return for Red Star tomorrow, with Warren Burne, Gary Shaw, Tommy English, Darryl Donnelly and captain Chris Scott named.
The only player ruled out is Lee Kerr, who is suspended.
Washington are second, 10 points behind the Star but the Mechanics have played three more games.
They visit third-bottom Esh Winning, who, despite conceding 122 goals – the most in the division – will be no pushovers after improving in recent weeks.
Third-placed Team Northumbria, only a point adrift of Washington, travel to Darlington RA minus Paul Anthony and Declan Stockle, but Louis Storey has recovered fitness.
Norton and Stockton Ancients are level on points with Team North and, at home to South Shields, are without a number of players.
John Seaton, Michael Jameson and Nicky Martin cannot play, while Mitchell Morris is ruled out for the remainder of the season with a back problem.
It’s in Hebburn Town’s own hands as they, too, battle for one of the three promotion places.
Although they sit fifth, they have a number of games in hand on the three sides immediately above them.
Thornaby provide the opposition on South Tyneside, where manager Scott Oliver will be anxious there is no repeat of last Saturday’s performance when they went down to Ryhope CW.
“We fluffed our lines well and truly. Full credit to Ryhope, who have got some very good players, but we should have taken something from the game” claimed Oliver.
The manager will be looking towards Channon North (45) and Shaun Reay (22). “The lads have racked up 67 goals between them and if they again on song we should be OK tomorrow,” enthused Oliver.
Ryhope CW host Birtley Town.