Hebburn work on defence for promotion showdown

BIG MISS ... Smith.
BIG MISS ... Smith.

HEBBURN Town head into a massive game against Washington tomorrow with manager Scott Oliver trying to make the case for their defence.

The Hornets travel to Nissan Sports Centre for a game which will go a long way to sorting out who gets promoted this season.

Washington are in pole position. They sit third in the Division Two table, five points ahead of Hebburn, though Oliver’s side have a game in hand.

Hebburn are still handily-placed, however, with games in hand above the other two teams chasing a promotion place, Team Northumbria and Norton & Stockton Ancients.

It means tomorrow’s game isn’t necessarily a ‘must-win’ – more a fixture that they can’t afford to lose.

Three points, however, would put them in the driving seat, and Oliver insists he will be sending his team out to win the game.

“We are going there to win,” he said.

“A draw means goal difference could be important after that and ours isn’t as good as the other teams.

“Our away record is excellent, we’ve only had two defeats all season.

“We did some work with the back four at training on Wednesday night and we spoke about taking the game to Washington.”

Oliver and assistant Dave Bell’s work with the defence comes after Hebburn conceded three times against Chester-le-Street last weekend.

Washington possess a potent strikeforce with Kevin Davison and Chris Winn leading their attack, which means the absence of centre-half Chris Smith is a big blow to Hebburn’s hopes.

Hebburn have their own firepower, however, with Shaun Reay and Channon North having racked up more than 60 goals between them.

Oliver added: “It will be a shoot-out between Davison and Winn, and Reay and North. All have scored more than 20 goals this season.

“We have had the same back four for three months, then we are forced into a change and it took us too long to adapt on Saturday. That’s why we worked on our shape.”