Seagulls bid for victory hat-trick

Tim ChannonFirst Team

THE Seagulls will try to make it a hat-trick of wins in eight days when they entertain eighth-placed Clitheroe at the 4 Crosses Arena on Saturday (3pm).
 Skipper Tom Hardwick will have a late fitness test on his injured knee after missing Tuesday’s win at Prescot Cables, but is given only a 50-50 chance of playing – although manager Peter Moore does now have  Kyle Armstrong available again as a possible replacement.
 Mark Keddie is away and not available.
  Meanwhile, the manager has made two more signings this week in defensive midfielder Liam Turner from Warrington Town, and 20-year-old midfielder Michael Pino who was released by Crewe Alexandra in the summer after missing much of last season with a knee injury and has recently been at Droylsden.
 Liam, 20, came through the reserves at Warrington where he  won selection for the Cheshire League representative squad.
 Both are eligible to play against Clitheroe as their international clearance came through on Friday evening.
The manager also reports he has put in seven days notice to speak to another two players.
  Victory on Saturday could put the Seagulls only one point adrift of the top five play-off places if one or two other results go their way, but would certainly lift them above Clitheroe into the top ten and maintain a winning run that has already seen the side climb eight places up the table in the past week.
 Clitheroe, who are currently one point ahead of Colwyn Bay having played a game more, have picked up only one point out of nine from their three away games so far and have lost four of their last seven league and cup games.
 However, only Mossley have scored more goals than them in the league this season and they have two players, 20-year-old Kurt Willoughby and ex-Rochdale scholar Dimitri Tuanzebe  among the Division’s current top 12 goal scorers – so they are a clearly a threat going forward.
  It will be the gaffer’s first meeting with his former club since he led them to a record points haul in the 2012/13 season. He admitted: “It will feel a bit strange, but it is three years since I was there and all I’m thinking about now is trying to get three points!”