NE Premier League: Lacey missing again, but Seaham Harbour look to move towards safety by beating Sunderland
Seaham Harbour entertain Sunderland in Division One on Saturday, with the hosts tantalisingly close to safety, but not quite there yet.
Club stalwart Stuart Lacey said: “It’s a big game to keep our status in the league.
“We have four games left against teams around us, so it’s in our own hands, but Sunderland will be a tough game.”
Harbour still have Jack Lacey out – he has been missing since taking 5-44 against Sacriston four weeks ago.
The Ashbrooke outfit are again missing skipper Greg Applegarth through work commitments and Usman Arshad is on Durham duty, part of the T20 squad.
Sunderland secretary Mike Smith said: “We want to win the game obviously and cement our place in mid-table. Our juniors are doing very well in the team and we hope to be in a stronger position next season, to have a promotion push.”
Sacriston regained the leadership last week and now have a six-point lead over Felling, as we approach the last four matches of the season.
They beat Washington in a tight, high-scoring game last week by just 14 runs, while Felling could only draw at home to battling Blaydon.
This Saturday, Sacriston travel to Mainsforth in mid-table and will be looking to win to keep the pressure on the teams behind them.
Official Iain Bestford said: “We had a good win last week and ourselves and Felling, seem to be a bit up and down with form at the moment.”
Sacriston welcome back skipper Ian Jones and Will Gidman may be available. Craig Burke and Nathan Hall are both missing though.
Second-placed Felling also travel, to Brandon, who have done enough this season to survive for another season in the First Division. However, they have not won since July 9 and will be looking to finish the season with a few wins themselves.
Willington, in third place and 39 points behind the leaders, are at Washington, who have done enough in the second part of the season to be safe in mid-table after their poor start.
The visitors had a great win over Brandon last week, triumphing by 21 runs, in a high-scoring affair and will be looking to keep winning and hope the top two slip up along the way.
Boldon, in fourth, are a further five points back but still have a slim chance of the title, but probably must win all their four remaining games to be in with a chance.
They welcome Blaydon to Sunderland Road and the visitors still need crucial points, as they bid to survive the drop for a second time in consecutive seasons. The cushion is 34 points, but they cannot rely on Tudhoe losing all their games.
Boldon will be making a few changes, but Jack Sargon retains his place after taking five wickets last week. Durham and Scotland batsman Calum MacLeod may be available. The visitors will have Andrew Sturgeon missing as he broke a finger last week and Jamie Wightman will come in to keep wicket.
Tudhoe welcome Burnmoor to St Charles Road, badly in need of a win, but will find it tough against the visitors who have had another good season and will be looking for a win to boost hopes of a fourth-place finish for the second season running.