Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Basement Battle Offerssomehope

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Basement Battle Offerssomehope

Article excerpt

Byline: Northern League Preview, by Anthony Vickers

Relegation-haunted Marske United face their biggest game of the season as they go to rock-bottom Penrith.

The second-bottom Seasiders have grabbed a top-flight survival lifeline with three superb battling draws against form sides Synthonia, Jarrow Roofing and Shildon.

But they are still a yawning ten points adrift of safety and if they are to win their battle to avoid the drop, victory is vital in Cumbria.

"When you are down where we are they are all big games," said Mick Hodgson, who has taken charge of the Great Escape.

"But this really is a massive one. They are bottom and struggling so on paper it is real chance for us to take advantage.

"A couple of draws have put us in with a chance but we need to get a few wins on the board if we want to stay up.

"It's a key game for us. A lot of supporters are making the trip so there will be a bit of atmosphere and we need to do our part.

"We should have played them midweek in the League Cup but it was called off. It is better playing them on a Saturday when they can't call on lads who normally play for Workington, Barrow and Kendal.

"But we are up for it. The spirit is there and we'll have a fully-fit squad so it is down to us now."

A frustrating two-week weather-imposed lay-off has allowed Marske to get the walking wounded to full fitness while Tom Jones and Chris Keegans are back from injury.

Guisborough need to step up their own basement battle as they travel to table-topping Durham City.

After an unbeaten December, defeats to Shildon and Jarrow Roofing have seen them drift back to third bottom.

Although they have games in hand over all their rivals, they really need to cash them in and claw away from the danger zone.

They face a tough test at Durham who have lost just one in 13 games at home this season. …

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