Fitness problems for Hebburn ahead of game on ‘worst pitch in league’

INJURY ... Downey.
INJURY ... Downey.

HEBBURN Town boss Scott Oliver has a number of fitness doubts ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.

And the Hornets manager is also concerned about the state of the home side’s pitch as they look to build on their good run of form.

Hebburn beat ??? 3-1 in midweek in the Durham Challenge Cup as they continue their fight on both fronts.

Oliver is keen to have a good cup run as well as stay in the hunt for promotion from Northern League Division Two – even if his squad is getting a bit stretched.

he said: “We were fortunate on Tuesday night.

“We made five changes and gave lads a game who needed to play, then lost Ali Downey and Callum Smith in the first half which didn’t help.

“We also had two lads with cramp in the last 15 minutes, so it was a strange game.

“Gary Rogers’ penalty save was the turning point, however.

“That’s six wins in our last seven games confidence is high.

“But now we have doubts over Ali and Callum for the game against Ryton, while Josh Allan and Jak Quantrill are out through work.

“It will be a tough game, and on the worst pitch in the league it’s going to be a battle.”

Hebburn’s recent revival has seen them claw their way back onto the fringes of the promotion race.

Oliver’s men are fifth in the table, though they still trail Norton and Stockton – who hold the last promotion spot – by 10 points.

They remain in with a chance of an instant return to the top flight after last season’s promotion, but is still keen for cup success as well.

“There’s some big clubs through to the quarter-finals so it would be nice to get a home draw,” he added.

“The Durham Challenge Cup is a big trophy and it’s been a long time since we last won it in 1992.

“We have nothing to lose, so no pressure.”