Northern League: Manager McCabe looks for Red Star to finish off with a flourish

Seaham Red Star (red and white) battle against Newcastle Benfield last weekend. Picture by Kevin Brady
Seaham Red Star (red and white) battle against Newcastle Benfield last weekend. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Seaham Red Star boss Chris McCabe is looking to extend his side’s three-match unbeaten run in tomorrow’s tough Division One visit to defending champions Shildon.

After a run of six successive defeats in league and cup, 10th-placed Red Star have stopped the rot with a win and two draws in the last three, including Tuesday’s visit to Newton Aycliffe.

McCabe said: “We dominated the game in midweek and should have been out of sight before conceding an added time equaliser.

“The lads are doing everything right, except finishing the games off when we are on top, however, we appear to have stopped the run of defeats and, with only four games remaining, will look to continue our unbeaten run.”

Thomas Price, Lee Hetherington and Luke Proctor are back for Seaham’s last away game of the season, while Craig Price returns from suspension in a full squad.

Shildon are 19 points behind leaders North Shields with seven games to go, and press officer John Atkinson said: “Anthony Bell and Lewis Dodds are still very doubtful and we play Seaham Red Star regularly. It will be a friendly game, however, but we are hoping for a win.”

Sunderland RCA, in 11th, entertain Newton Aycliffe, who are just five points better off.

Manager Martin Swales said: “Neal Bussey needs to have a late fitness test and Liam McBryde, Mark Robinson and Jonathan Davis will be back into the squad.

“Newton Aycliffe is always a tough game, but it’s a home game for us and we expect to take the three points and try to get into the top 10.”

Chester-le-Street, up to second-bottom spot with a vital win at Ryhope CW in midweek, host Consett.

With just six games to go, only a second home win all season would give them hope of catching fourth-bottom Washington in the safety scrap.

Manager Colin Wake said: “Aaron Reynolds and Kieran Megran are away on holiday, but Joe Grant returns from a work trip. Apart from that, we are at full strength.”

Washington, eight points clear of the drop zone, face a difficult task at Newcastle Benfield and manager James Clark has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Clark said: “I am looking forward to the game. It’s important to put in a good performance and build on what has been a steady stream of results.

“I’m pleased to have Matty Waters, Dan Gladstone, and Reece Evans back. We’re going into the game with a positive outlook and hopefully we can get some points.”

Fifth-bottom West Auckland are eager to beat bottom club Guisborough Town to ease their drop fears.

Official Cliff Alderson said: “We had a poor result against Newton Aycliffe last week, but this week we will be at full strength.

“It’s a six-pointer, with both teams in the bottom five, so hopefully we can improve on our game last week and win this weekend.”

Front-runners North Shields will look to move 17 points clear of second-top South Shields with victory at sixth-placed Bishop Auckland.

The Robins have a fully fit squad available after grafting hard to beat Shildon last weekend. Bishops will hope to improve in disappointing performances in the last two home games against Ryhope CW and Sunderland RCA.

Ryhope CW are without a weekend game for the second Saturday in succession and must wait to face South Shields next week in a game sure to attract their biggest Northern League crowd.

Jarrow Roofing visit Penrith without only Paul Gardiner

“This is going to be an incredibly close game,” said Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin. “They are only one place above us in the league, so they will be doing all they can to stop us going above them – which we will do with a win.”

Elsewhere, Dunston UTS entertain Ashington and Morpeth Town welcome West Allotment Celtic.