Northern League: Bulmer banned as Easington look to tie up top-eight finish against Brandon

Seaham Red Star (red/white) chance their arm in last week's home Division One defeat to Morpeth Town
Seaham Red Star (red/white) chance their arm in last week's home Division One defeat to Morpeth Town
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Easington Colliery complete their home Second Division programme with the visit of Brandon United tomorrow.

Striker Michael Bulmer is missing through suspension, but Aidan Goodey completed 90 minutes last Saturday and is expected to be in the team again.

Brennan Ball and Reece Kenney are also set to return. Dylan Nesbitt picked up an injury last Saturday, but is expected to be fit to start as eighth-placed Easington look to fend off Hebburn Town, two points worse off, to ensure FA Cup qualification for next season.

Hebburn host bottom club Ryton & Crawcrook Albion without Glen Hargrave, Jason Blackburn, Steve Hubery and Ian Bickerstaff are all missing. As usual we have important lads missing but we are used to that by now and will adapt.

Boss Scott Oliver said: “Last Saturday’s performance at Heaton Stannington was very good and it was a big bonus to get the winner late on. Our last two wins are down to defending from the front.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Alan Pegram will retire at the end of the season.

Stockton Town will seal the title if they win at second-top Team Northumbria in the battle of the two already-promoted sides.

Given their superior goal difference, even a draw should all but guarantee the trophy.

The Teessiders have Matthew Garbutt as their only absentee, but he hopes to be fit for the Ernest Armstrong Cup final against holders Northallerton on April 29.

Billingham Synthonia, staging their last ever game at Central Avenue, host Willington.

A victory would take them to the brink of promotion in third place, ahead of Monday’s potentially critical derby at Billingham Town.

The Synners miss Austin Johnston, who completes his five-game suspension, and Conor Winter, serving the last of his four-match ban. Nathan Mulligan starts a two-game ban.

Fifth-placed Billingham Town travel to Esh Winning, who play their final match and aim to stay above bottom club Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.

Town manager Barry Oliver said: “Mathew Crossen is out suspended, and Jack Connor with an injury. Other than that, we’re at full strength.”

“Esh Winning is always a tough place to go to, and league positions at this stage don’t lie. Hopefully we’ll go there and come away with three points. Then we move onto the big one, the derby against Synthonia on Monday.”

Crook Town hope to have a full squad available at Bedlington Terriers, while Tow Law Town entertain Darlington RA.

Lawyers manager Steve Moralee said: “Kevin Dixon and Michael Allan are unavailable due to cricket commitments. Apart from that, we should have a full squad available.

“Darlington RA have had some good results lately - we’re hoping to bring that to a close. It will be our second last home game of season, and want to end the season on a high.

“We’re looking to get a couple of good results, and attract some new players for next season.”

Seventh-top Whickham are at home to Northallerton, who have one eye on the looming cup final, while Heaton Stannington must win at Blyth Town to stand a chance of promption.

Blyth have keeper Michael Robinson back, but Michael Riley is away

Official Chrissie Pringle said: “We haven’t reached the position where we are eligible for promotion, which has been disappointing.

“The management team have lots of plans in place for next year, to ensure we do reach the goal of being promoted. This season has been a learning curve to push for promotion next season.”

Alnwick Town host Thornaby in their final game, with the Teessiders on a high after their midweek victory at Heaton Stannington.

James Rowe is out with a broken foot, Stuart Browne has had a ligament operation and Nathan Wilson is recovering from a broken leg, but Matthew Campbell could return following a broken wrist.