Hebburn boss confident of one last twist in promotion race

HOPE ... Scott Oliver.
HOPE ... Scott Oliver.

HEBBURN Town are relying on results elsewhere in their promotion bid – but manager Scott Oliver is confident there will be one last twist in the tail.

The Hornets kept themselves in contention with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Tow Law in midweek.

Tomorrow, they host Heaton Stannington in what Oliver expects to be a “cracking” game against a side sitting seventh in Northern League Division Two.

Hebburn are fifth in the table, five points off the three promotion spots with two matches left. They must beat Heaton Stannington to ensure they will remain in contention going into the final day, and Oliver insists his side must focus on themselves this weekend.

He said: “Heaton Stannington are going well and are at the top end of the table, so we have to look after that before we think of anything else. I think it will be a cracking game.

“To take it to the final day would be exciting, and I still think there will be one last twist.

“The lads certainly haven’t given up, and you could tell that before the Tow Law game. There was not an end-of-season feel to it.

“If we win the last two games, that would take us to 84 points, and if we didn’t go up with that tally it would be very unfortunate.”

If Hebburn win both of their remaining games, they are guaranteed to leapfrog Team Northumbria, who are second but have completed their fixtures.

Washington, meanwhile, are third, five points ahead of Hebburn with two games left, and Norton are fourth, one point ahead of Oliver’s side and also with two matches remaining.

The Town boss feels the pressure is off his team, and is hoping fans will turn out in big numbers to support his outfit in their last home match of the season tomorrow.

Oliver added: “I think the pressure is off our lads at the moment because we’re chasing. I think the pressure got to them a few weeks back, with some of them thinking too far ahead.

“Now, though, the pressure is off us and on the other teams who are above us.

“I hope the public get behind the team in our last home game. I think the local area should be proud of the team, as they are good to watch.

“The thing we wanted when we took over at the start of last season was to be bring a few more local lads in and reconnect with the area, and I think we’ve done that.”

Kick-off at Hebburn Sports and Social Ground is at 3pm, with Gary Rogers the only doubt for the home side.