Title Race Thriller: Hebburn Town and Stockton Town Battle it Out in Northern Premier East Division

Written by on 26th April 2024

The title race between Hebburn Town and Stockton Town is reaching its climax, and the upcoming round of fixtures on Saturday 27 April 2024, is set to be absolutely thrilling. Hebburn Town travel to face off against Sheffield, while Stockton Town will be taking on Belper Town. The outcome of these matches will have a significant impact on the final standings and will determine who will be the league champions. 

Both Hebburn and Stockton have had an incredible season so far, showcasing their skill, determination, and unwavering spirit on the field. A few months ago, Stockton were 18 points clear of the Hornets, but the South Tyneside club’s recent eleven game unbeaten run has preppelled to the top of the table, ahead of the last round of fixtures 

When speaking to Hebburn Town Chief Executive Stephen Rutherford, he said: “The team have had a hectic schedule over the past few weeks, so we’ve tried to do something a little different in preparation for Sheffield. The result on Tuesday left a mark of dissatisfaction on the lads, so we got them together on Thursday and took them out for a meal, a little team bonding and spoke about the task at Sheffield. We wanted to relax the lads whilst also celebrating the remarkable run they’ve had over the past four months to take us to the top of the league.

“At the beginning of the season, our goal was to reach the play-offs. Throughout the season, we’ve never been out of the top five (play-offs) and by January, we were 18 points behind the league leaders Stockton, so the task looked impossible. However, credit to the coaching staff, the players, and the volunteers who work hard behind the scenes, because they have went on a remarkable run that has seen only two defeats in 16 games, with 12 of those being wins. It’s a record run for our club and has seen us win the league on the last day.”

The atmosphere at Sheffield will be electric as the Hornets hope to secure their highest-ever league finish in their 112-year history, while also securing their status at step three for the first time in the club’s history. 

When speaking to the Shields Gazette, Hebburn Town manager Daniel Moore said: “If we had been offered this at the start of the season, we would have taken it and my job is to pick their chins up, because the players are gutted they couldn’t do it in front of a brilliant crowd.  

“If we have to go down there and do it at Sheffield, that’s what we will do.” 

Olly Martin(Right) and Arron Thompson(left) celebrate winning the Durham challenge cup final with a fan, during Hebburn Town V Spennymoor Town, in the Durham Challenge Cup Final

Hebburn Town Media Volunteer David Coulthard, also spoke on the club’s recent success: “We’ve had huge success over recent years with promotion from the Northern League, the FA Vase and the Durham Challenge Cup, but this would be such a great achievement and, in my opinion, would top the lot. 

“We always take a decent group away from home too and I know the lads always appreciate the support. 

“We’ve done amazingly to get to the point where it’s in our hands, but now everyone is nervous as we’re all now desperate to see us get over the line.” 

On the other hand, Stockton Town will be up against Belper Town, a formidable opponent. Stockton have shown incredible resilience and consistency throughout the season, and they will be determined to secure a crucial win that could keep their title hopes alive. Their players will leave no stone unturned as they battle it out on the pitch, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. 

Kevin Hayes of Stockton Town FC in the action during the Northern Premier League (East) match between Cleethorpes Town and Stockton Town at the Linden Club,  (Credit: Harry Cook | MI News) Credit: Alamy Live News

Stockton Town supporter, Ethan Fordy, said: “Most supporters have been disappointed to how the season has gone a bit downhill with hitting a bad run of form at just the wrong time after Winterton Rangers defeat, we all were resigned to the fact it would most likely be play-offs, but now everyone is up for Saturday with plenty of supporters going to Belper Town to get behind the lads. 

“As people will say, it’s the hope that kills you, but we are very excited with the chance to get over the line and will be expecting a constant look at my phone to see the Hebburn Town score. 

“We just need our big players to step up like Kevin Hayes and captain Adam Nicholson to hopefully provide us with that bit of magic to get us to the title.” 

As the final whistle blows on Saturday, the league table will be updated, and the title race will inch closer to its conclusion. The anticipation and excitement surrounding these fixtures are palpable, with fans eagerly awaiting the outcome. The dedication and hard work of both teams have made this title race a spectacle to behold, showcasing the true spirit of football. 

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