Players return for key Hebburn clash

Jason Blackburn

Jason Blackburn

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Hebburn Town boss Scott Oliver is expecting a tight game when his side take on Northallerton Town tomorrow.

The two sides are among the in-form sides in the Northern League Division Two as they look to keep pace with the promotion-chasing pack at the top of the table.

While neither team had a particularly strong start to the campaign, they have both found form over recent months, meaning it could be a close encounter.

For Hebburn, they will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering heartache in their last game at Billingham Synthonia, when only a goal eight minutes into added on time denied them victory.

It was a result that still pleased Oliver, however, and he expects another togh game tomorrow at the Hebburn Sports Centre (3pm kick-off).

He said: “Northallerton are unbeaten in 10 games, while we ourselves have only had one defeat in 11 games, so another tight game is expected.

“Last Saturday, we had a number of players missing and although it was a a real blow to see Synners equalise in the last minute I would have took a point before the game as we were way short of attacking options.

“Tomorrow is different strikers as Jason Blackburn, Will Smith and James Davidson all return and we will play two up front for sure.

“We also have Dan Reeves and hopefully Ian Bickerstaff back as well.

“However, Glen Hargrave and Adam Rundle are working which is a blow to us.”

Hebburn sit eighth in the table, but the league is so tight at the top that any one of the top 10 could still get promoted.

Northallerton are 10th, just four points behind the Hornets, and haven’t ruled out a push for the top three.

Hebburn need to put a run together and their cause was helped in midweek when their Durham Challenge Cup tie at Dunston UTS was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

That allowed some of the players to rest after the exertions of last weekend, but Oliver now wants them to kick on.

“The league is so tight, anything can happen if a team can go on a run.

“Our players are an honest bunch as they showed last Saturday.

“While we lacked quality, they gave their all but some tired late on.”