Guisborough Town manager Chris Hardy says Monday morning’s local derby against Marske United could go some way to decide the Ebac Northern League First Division title after his side came back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at Durham City on Saturday.
Guisborough go into tomorrow’s big game with a five-point lead over their neighbours, who also won 4-2 at Durham. But Shildon and North Shields can’t be ruled out because they have games in hand.
“If we win on Monday morning, then it might not be long before we can think about going on to win the league,” he said. “But there are still plenty of points to be dropped, and whichever team is the most consistent over the last three weeks will go on to win the league.
“We somehow clawed our way back into the game on Saturday from 2-0 down. When we pulled a goal back, we gained some momentum for the rest of the game, and so we’ve got to be pleased with the way we came back. I’m sure I can do without more games like that one!”
City took the lead when Arjun Purewal scored with a header from a corner, then 6 minutes after half-time Kyle Fryatt beat five men in a run from inside his own half and side-footed past Nick Liversedge for the second.
But Guisborough pulled a goal back when Luke Bythway netted from a few yards, then James Risborough equalised from a corner.
Guisborough went into the lead from another corner, this time Andy May heading in, and with a few minutes left Danny Earl got the fourth from a Nathan Mulligan cross.
Guisborough are now unbeaten in twenty league games since Durham beat them in the reverse fixture last November at the King George.
Durham manager Ian Chandler said; “This result left a worse feeling than last week’s 6-0 defeat. We were much the better team for over an hour only to concede a dubious offside goal, then we got caught out with some bad defending.”
Marske showed their battling qualities when they came back from two goals down with ten-men against West Auckland Town to win 4-2 at Mount Pleasant.
They were reduced to ten-men when defender Darren Hollingsworth was red carded for pulling down Brian Close, and Alex Francis scored from the spot.
It looked as if West were well on their way to victory when Steve Richardson dribbled through and got the second.
But Marske pulled a goal back when Austin Johnston’s shot was blocked and Danny Brunskill scored from the rebound, and they levelled just on half-time when West keeper Dan Lowson failed to hold on to a cross, and Jamie Owens scored.
Marske keeper Robbie Deane pulled off a good save, before Marske went 3-2 up when Owens crossed for Josh MacDonald to score.
West wobbled, and gave away a penalty when MacDonald was brought down, and Craig Gott scored from the spot. They could have scored more, as West faded.
Marske manager Carl Jarrett said; “West were all over us in the first 25 minutes, and we couldn’t get into the game. But after the sending off, we made couple of changes to our formation, and everything just clicked. Our teamwork was great, the closing down was very good – everything just seemed to click.”
West’s chances of winning the title have now virtually gone. They are seven points behind Guisborough with three games left.
West manager Steve Skinner said; “We were an embarrassment for an hour.”
Guisborough and Marske face each other on Monday morning at the King George. “How often can you say that two Teesside teams are involved in a game at this stage of the season that could go some way to deciding the title,” said Hardy.
North Shields are still in with a chance of winning the league after they won 1-0 at Newton Aycliffe.
There wasn’t much in the game in the first half, until Aycliffe had Craig Garthwaite red carded for a last man foul, but Aycliffe keeper James Winter saved the penalty from Gareth Bainbridge.
And Shields took advantage at the start of the second half when Bainbridge hit the bar, and Luke Carr scored from the rebound.
Aycliffe had another man, Andrew Green, sent-off near the end.
North Shields assistant-manager Andy Bowman said; “We were comfortable today with 90 per cent of possession. They came to kick us off the park but weren’t able to. We were extremely disciplined and acted professionally. They got two sent off and we maybe could have scored again.”
Newton Aycliffe manager Peter Dixon said; “The game was over after the first sending off, I thought it was a fair tackle.”
Shildon, who are in fourth with six games left, play their next league game at home to Whitley Bay next Saturday.
Dunston UTS are no longer in the title race after they lost 3-1 at home to Morpeth Town.
After a goalless first half, Keith Graydon put Morpeth into the lead with a typical free-kick curled over the wall, then Chris Jewels made it 2-0 from a Dan Taggert pass. Andy Bulford pulled a goal back, but Ben Sayer made sure of the win.
Morpeth manager Nick Gray said; “It was an even first half and the first goal was crucial. Fortunately we got it, and to be fair we were disappointed that it wasn’t a bigger margin. The lads all put a great effort in to the game, which you need against Dunston.”
Dunston UTS manager Billy Irwin said; “We deserved nothing out of the game, Morpeth were by far the better team.”
Billingham Synthonia now need to win their last two games to have a chance of avoiding the drop after they were beaten 3-1 at home by Sunderland RCA, who are now almost safe.
Colin Larkin put the visitors ahead with a 25 yarder on 10 minutes, but Synners levelled when Kris Hughes was brought down and Michael Sweet scored from the spot.
But the RCA went back in front when Michael Charlton made a good run and pulled the ball back for Steve Callen to score.
In the second half, the RCA struck a huge blow when Joe Hughes set up Kieran Megran who scored the third from ten yards.
Synners are due at Penrith on Monday, and if they lose, then Sunderland RCA and Newton Aycliffe are safe.
Sunderland RCA manager Marty Swales said; “It was a great result, all coming from a great start to the game. We’re almost safe.”
Consett, who had won seven out of their previous eight games, came down to earth when they were thumped 7-0 at Newcastle Benfield.
Consett gave new signing Steven Turnbull his debut, and he was sent-off early in the game. After that, it was all downhill. The league’s leading scorer, Paul Brayson, took his tally to 40, with Dan Taylor scoring a hat-trick. Chris Hardy, Richard Slaughter and Mark Turnbull scored the others.
Newcastle Benfield manager Steve Bowey said; “It was a fantastic result for the lads against an in form Consett side. We knew it was going to be tough, but it was a complete performance. Stand out performances from Michael Riley causing trouble for the full back all afternoon and a well-deserved hat trick for Dan Taylor.”
Consett manager Colin Myers simply said; “Absymal.”
Bishop Auckland came from behind to win 2-1 at Bedlington Terriers.
The home side took the lead after 23 minutes through a Lee Scott effort. But Bishops improved after half time when they put three subs on the field, and equalised when Stuart Thompson dispossessed a defender and ran through to score. Jordan Lavery scored the winner with a crisp left foot shot after 80 minutes.
Bedlington manager Gary Innes said; “First half we were excellent, second half we were terrible.”
Bishop Auckland manager David Bayles said; “It was a good win, but not a very good performance. Our subs changed the game.”
Jarrow Roofing easily beat Penrith 4-0.
Paul Chow thought he’d scored early on, but the referee ruled that the ball had gone wide, when Roofing claimed that the ball hit a rail at the back of the net.
Lewis Teasdale beat three defenders and crossed for Chow to head Roofing into the lead, then Bruno Pilatos scored the second from a Chow assist.
Pilatos scored his second after half-time when a Josh Richardson shot came back out to him, then Chow scored off a Peter Leven free-kick.
Jarrow Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin said; “We played well and won the game at a canter. We got the reaction we wanted after our last two poor games.”
Ashington have now won five league games in a row after they beat Crook Town 4-1 at Woodhorn Lane.
Andrew Johnson (2) and Tony Stephenson put them 3-0 up, before David Webster pulled a goal back. Glen Taylor scored the fourth in the second half.
Ashington assistant-manager Ian Skinner said; “We started slow but grew into the game and scored three goals in a 20 minute period through the first half. Second half we let our standards drop slightly, but we won the game and the players have been excellent winning the last six games in a row.”
Crook manager Peter Mulcaster said; “I was pleased with our second half performance. We had a couple of good chances and competed well.”
There’s a real scramble between four clubs for the two Second Division promotion places behind Seaham Red Star, who beat bottom club Brandon United 2-0 with goals by Gary Shaw and Darren Reay.
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They were 3-0 up at one point with goals by David Dormand (2) and Nick Green, but Thornaby hit back with goals by Kieran Edwards and Curtis Edwards.
Washington are third after scoring a late winner at Darlington RA.
Chris Winn gave Washington an early lead, but Joe Peel set up Jim Wilson to score the equaliser.
The game could have gone either way until a mistake in the Darlington RA box gave James Fairley an easy chance to score the winner.
Darlington RA manager Warren Moncur said; “It was an even game and well-contested throughout. We looked more likely to win after we got back to 1-1, but we made a mistake at the back which led to the winner. It was a bit harsh on us.”
Washington manager Steve Hutchinson said; “It was a hard game. We had to battle hard against a determined Darlington side and now we look forward to a tough game next week against Hebburn.”
Fifth-placed Hebburn were held to a 3-3 draw at home by Chester-le-Street.
Hebburn also suffered a blow when Marc Costello suffered a broken ankle near the end.
Shaun Reay put Hebburn into an early lead, but Michael Hepplewhite quickly equalised.
Alan Pegram put Hebburn back into the lead, but Glen Hargrave equalised with a 25 yarder and Hepplewhite made it 3-2. But Reay popped up with a Hebburn equaliser on 65 minutes.
Hebburn manager Scott Oliver said; “We only had ourselves to blame. We looked all over the place defensively in the first half. A bad day ended with Marc Costello being stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle.”
Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “It was a good performance, backs to the wall at times m but that was expected having so much at stake for Hebburn, It was a deserved point for us.”
Northallerton Town came from behind to win 2-1 at Alnwick Town.
The home side took the lead through Danny Lowes, but Stuart Owen and Colin Anderson scored for Northallerton in the second half.
Northallerton manager Danny Mellanby said; “It was a good result from a difficult place to go to.”
Birtley Town beat Stokesley SC 3-2, with Andrew Peacock scoring the winner from 25 yards for Birtley after Stokesley had missed some good chances.
Michael Gray and Anthony Ward scored the other goals for Birtley, while Ged Richardson and Ramin Leylabi were on target for Stokesley.
Stokesley manager Nicky Ward said; “We had so many chances to win the game at 2-2 it was unreal, then we got undone by a goal in the last minute. We only had ourselves to blame, our finishing was poor.”
Birtley manager Tony Boakes said; “It was a well-deserved win in a scrappy, hard fought match.”
Willington let a two goal lead slip against Heaton Stannington and had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Adam Burnicle scored twice for Willington to give him 23 league goals for the season, but Heaton replied with efforts by Adam Rowntree and Adrian Watson.
Heaton Stannington assistant-manager Geoff Walker said; “We totally dominated the game but dropped two points. We gifted them two goals with poor defensive errors. I was pleased with the way we fought back from 2-0 down and nearly won it at the death but for a world class save by their keeper. Our great unbeaten run continues but we have a tough away game next at Northallerton.”
Willington manager Rob Lee said; “We had six players missing, and three under-18s played. We did well and went 2-0 up, but Heaton pulled it back to 2-2. A draw was a fair result.”
Sunderland Ryhope CW comfortably beat Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 4-0, with goals by Conor Winter, Nathan O’Neill, Steve Oakley and Richard Hodgson.
Ryhope CW manager Gary Pearson said; “It was a very comfortable win. We came out of the blocks very sharp which continued for most of the game. It could have been more but for poor finishing and a bit of resilient defending from Ryton, Connor Winter was excellent.”
Whickham beat South Shields 2-1 at the Glebe.
Shields took the lead through Paul Kane, but Whickham scored in the second half through Scott Swanston and Chad Collins.