Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ebac Northern League

Article excerpt

Byline: MALCOLM PRATT

THIRTEEN places and 14 points separate comfortably-placed Bedlington Terriers and relegationthreatened Newton Aycliffe, but manager Keith Perry is under no illusions as to the size of his team's task this afternoon.

He said "There are no easy games and they are desperate for points so it will be tough. We have a Northumberland FA Senior cup semi-final at Whitley Bay next Tuesday but I want the lads to first of all concentrate on today's game.

"We haven't played in the last couple of weeks and are now down to eighth but we have a realistic chance of finishing in the top six."

Bedlington's chances are enhanced with the expected availability of Phil Bannister, Kevin Morton and Stephen Baptist.

Whitley Bay's aim is to end third and they go to Team Northumbria with manager Ian Chandler awaiting news on the availability of Brad Brooking, Callum Anderson, James Fairley and Lee Kerr.

"We are fourth top and had a very good win at Durham City early in the week. We beat Team 6-0 in the first fixture but they are a different side now and it won't be easy" observed Chandler.

Team's chances of gaining revenge are weakened by the unavailability of Ross Wilkinson, Mark Bertram, Jack Palmer and Dean Critchlow.

"I would have preferred to play them with a strong side. They hammered us earlier in the season when we had players out. Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself," said manager Paul Johnson.

Hebburn Town made an excellent start to their first season back in the top flight but have recently been in freefall.

"We've lost eight of our last nine league matches to drop into the bottom half of the table. We need to arrest the slide, starting against Celtic Nation," claimed manager Paul Bennett who cannot call upon the suspended Dan Kirkup.

Last season, Sunderland RCA finished fourth but they are now 17th before visiting Spennymoor Town, who are fighting for honours on four fronts. …

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