THINGS are still tight in the Premier Division basement with only four or five points separating nine teams in the bottom half of the table.
But in midweek Ashington Colliers earned themselves some breathing space by drawing 2-2 with visitors Newcastle University who also moved up a couple of notches.
Both clubs could improve their positions even further this weekend. The Students are at home to bottom rung opponents Wark who are still seeking a first win on their travels and Ashington are at Ponteland United where their hosts have claimed only one victory this term.
Murton and Cramlington Town are facing opponents involved in the title race and points won’t be easy to come by.
Current league leaders Walker Central are Murton’s visitors. Meanwhile, it’s just possible that Cramlington Town could cause an upset when Gillford Park drop in at the Sporting Club.
Blyth Town and Seaton Delaval are another two sides who drew 2-2 in a previous meeting and today’s clash at Blyth could be just as close with both enjoying successful runs at present. Beaten only once in their last six games, Blyth have hoisted themselves up into mid-table while Delaval – only a point behind leaders Walker at the top – had secured four wins on the trot before narrowly losing to Shankhouse a fortnight ago.
This afternoon Shankhouse will be striving to clinch only their second home win when Heaton Stannington call in at Northburn. And Heddon, haunted by a draw habit on their travels, are facing another stiff test against powerful hosts Harraby Catholic Club.
Since parting company with several players and their manager last year, Peterlee Town have struggled and only their early-season exploits have kept them clear of the basement. Today’s visitors Carlisle City have only average credentials and the Newtowners will fancy their chances of claiming their first league victory since October.