Northern League Round Up ( Ray Simpson )

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Shildon manager Gary Forrest has told his players to treat the Ebac Northern League First Division like a cup competition after they comfortably won 6-0 at relegated Celtic Nation on Saturday.

Shildon will win the league if they win their remaining three matches against Sunderland RCA and Bedlington (away) and Durham City (home), but any slip up will hand the league title to Marske United, who play their last game against relegated Celtic Nation on Tuesday night.

“I’ve told the players that we’re now in a cup competition,” said Forrest.

“Our game against Sunderland RCA on Tuesday night is a quarter final, the home game against Durham on Saturday is the semi-final, and the away game at Bedlington a week Tuesday is the final. We know that Marske won’t slip up in midweek, so we have to win those games and we’ve won the title.

“If the players possess the same attitude and determination that they had at Celtic Nation on Saturday, then we’ve got every chance. They responded very well. There is still a lot of work to do, and hopefully we’ll avoid any bad luck.”

The Railwaymen took the lead after 17 minutes when Mark Doninger scored from the edge of the box, then Billy Greulich-Smith made it 2-0 with a shot on the turn. Doninger then scored a gem of an overhead kick from just inside the area to make it 3-0 and before half time Ben Wood broke away and scored the fourth.

Doninger then got Shildon’s 100th league goal of the season, and Adam Rundle completed the scoring from the spot.

Marske won a thoroughly entertaining and nervous game by 5-3 against Bishop Auckland at Mount Pleasant to go top of the table above Guisborough Town.

Marske looked to be well on their way by scoring twice inside the first 5 minutes.

Former Bishops player Danny Brunskill fired home on 82 seconds, then Reece Kelly scored the second from close range.

Bishops pulled a goal back on 25 minutes when Ben Irving’s shot was blocked, and Andy Johnson scored from the rebound.

They equalised on the half hour-mark when Johnson’s flick was turned into the net by a defender.

Brunskill put Marske back into the lead, then Jamie Owens made it 4-2.

Bishops got back into the game again when Johnny Butler pulled a goal back with a header, but Owens made it 5-3 with a screamer from 35 yards.

Bishops were then awarded a penalty for a foul on Lewis Brown, but Marske keeper Robbie Dean saved from Butler.

Marske manager Carl Jarrett said; “At 2-2, I didn’t know which way the game was going to go, I was worried that we would lose, but somehow we got 4-2 up at half time. The game changed when Robbie saved that penalty late on, we managed to get on control. All we can do is win on Tuesday against Celtic Nation, and see what happens.”

Bishop Auckland manager David Bayles said; “We make too many mistakes defensively.”

Guisborough’s hopes of the title disappeared when they lost 4-3 at Morpeth Town, but they nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down.

Dan Teggart scored off a rebound to give Morpeth the lead, and then Chris Jewels and Michael Hall both scored from corners.

Danny Earl pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Luke Bythway was brought down just on half time.

Callum Martin scored direct from a corner and Liam McPhillips equalised from an Andrew May assist, but Morpeth got the winner when a corner hit the bar and Chris Jewels scored from the rebound.

Morpeth manager Nick Gray said; “It was a very entertaining game. We got our noses in front and at 3-0 we looked comfortable until the referee gave an awful penalty decision which changed the game. We conceded two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but great character by our lads to go on and get the winner. Six months ago we would have lost that game.”

Guisborough manager Chris Hardy said; “I thought we showed the greater possession and had the more goal attempts, this however wasn’t enough to win this game of football due to some poor defending that made this challenge too big an ask.”

North Shields are almost out of the race after they lost 4-0 at Dunston UTS, all the goals coming in the second half. Dale Burrell scored from a Stephen Harrison corner, then Gary Ormston fired the second.

Andy Bulford dribbled through and scored the third, with Lee McAndrew firing the fourth.

Shields need to win their last three games and hope that Shildon and Marske both lose matches, for a chance of winning the league.

Dunston UTS manager Billy Irwin said; “It was a great performance, I’m delighted for the players against a good team.”

West Auckland Town won 3-1 at West Allotment Celtic to ensure a top five finish.

Auckland had more of the early chances, and took the lead when Jonny Gibson sent Mattie Moffat running clear, and he beat the Allotment keeper.

Allotment levelled through Michael Bell off a corner, but straight after half time Gibson scored from Neil Pattinson’s pass.

Allotment then gifted Auckland the third, when the keeper rolled the ball out straight to Craig Ruddy, who scored easily.

West Allotment manager Paul Stoneman said; “Saturday was a hard day. It may be our last game as a group and I’ve had these players for four years. We’ve come a long way together and to stay in this league on our budget is phenomenal, but unfortunately the club is really struggling financially, and this may well be the end of a truly great time with great people whom I’m proud to call my friends. I’ve never worked with such a fantastic group, I’m really proud of our achievement.”

West Auckland manager Steve Skinner said; “When we kept possession of the ball, we played some really good football.”

Sunderland RCA lost 6-3 at home to Consett after scoring six goals in a remarkable second half.

Clayton Davis and Joe Hughes put the RCA 2-0 up at half time, but then it all went wrong.

Ross Preston headed into his own goal to open the door for Consett, then Jack Walker equalised in a goalmouth scramble.

Luke Sullivan set up Matty Slocombe to put Consett into the lead, then Josh Gray made it 4-2 from close range.

Chris Moore made it 5-2, and after Stephen Bogie pulled one back for RCA, Michael Mackay finished off the scoring.

Sunderland RCA manager Marty Swales said; “First half we were top drawer, and I couldn’t believe our second half performance. We conceded four goals from inside our own six yard box. It never happened in my playing days or manager days to concede six goals in one half.”

Consett manager Colin Myers said; “It was a poor first half. We were second best throughout, but in the second half we upped our game and got what we deserved.”

Ashington continued their good end to the season by winning 2-0 at Durham City.

After a goalless first half, Jonathan Giles put Ashington into the lead with a tap in, then Kyle Oliver added the second in stoppage time. Durham missed some good chances to get on the scoresheet.

Ashington assistant-manager Ian Skinner said; “It was a good game of football which at times was end to end with both teams having chances, We possibly shaded it in terms of possession and chances, and credit to these players who have won 11 games out of 15 since we joined the club.”

Durham manager Ian Chandler said; “It was a good performance but we missed quite a few chances. Ryan Noble had at least four clear chances which he’d usually score from. Then Callum Patton also missed three very good chances.”

Jarrow Roofing drew 1-1 with Whitley Bay.

Dan Kirkup gave Roofing the lead, with Peter Watling equalising for Whitley.

Jarrow Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin said; “It was a fair result. Both teams tried hard to get three points, but it was an end of season game and we were happy with a point.”

Durham manager Ian Chandler said; “It was a good performance but we missed quite a few chances. Ryan Noble had at least four clear chances which he’d usually score from. Then Callum Patton also missed three very good chances.”

Bedlington Terriers lost 4-1 at home to Penrith, for whom Martyn Coleman scored a hat-trick, with Richard Faustino scoring the other. Adam Harvey scored Bedlington’s consolation in the last minute.

Bedlington manager Gary Innes said; “It was disappointing again, we keep making the same mistakes.”

Washington won promotion from the Second Division after they won 2-0 at Thornaby, Paul Wardle and James Fairley scoring the goals.

Washington manager Nick Gray said; “It was a great day for the club. It was well deserved, we will plan for next season now and look forward to playing the big boys.”

Fourth-placed Norton & Stockton Ancients now need to win at Tow Law Town next Saturday in order to join Seaham Red Star and Washington after they easily defeated Esh Winning 6-0 at Station Road.

Norton never looked back after John Seaton and Karl Charlton scored in the first 15 minutes, then Rocky Andrews scored a third. Michael Jameson then scored a hat trick to complete a comfortable win.

Norton manager Andy Campbell said; “It was a fantastic first half, we scored six really good goals. Same again next week and we’re up.”

Hebburn Town’s promotion hopes disappeared when they lost 4-3 at home to Heaton Stannington.

Hebburn twice took the lead through Shaun Reay and Channon North, but Heaton levelled through Joe Wear and Ryan Bailey.

Heaton went 4-2 up after half time through Adam Rowntree and Richie Hoggins, before Andy McIntosh pulled a goal back.

Heaton finished the season with a twelve-game unbeaten run.

Heaton Stannington assistant-manager Geoff Walker said; “Another well-deserved win. The first two goals we conceded were poor but we showed great character to equalise. Second half we took control to go 4-2 up then a goalkeeping mistake gifted them a third, but they never looked like getting back into it. We’re delighted with this unbeaten run of ten wins and two draws. We’re looking forward already to next season.”

Hebburn manager Scott Oliver said; “Heaton deserved the points, we went missing in the second half. We forgot how to defend all of a sudden. For the first time this season I felt let down.”

Brandon United’s final game in the league before relegation to the Wearside League – unless a club higher up the league either folds or resigns which is still possible – saw them lose 2-0 at home to Whickham, for whom Steven Aiston and Craig Rook scored.

Darlington RA beat Billingham Town 1-0, thanks to an early Nathan Wilson penalty for a foul on Phil Caley.

Wilson was sent-off for retaliation in the second half. It was only the RA’s third clean sheet of the season.

Darlington RA manager Warren Moncur said; “The match was well-contested and became more of a battle than good football. We defended brilliantly with ten men after the sending off. Phil Pentony and Grant Hickman were magnificent.”

Sunderland Ryhope CW beat Stokesley SC 5-1, with Conor Winter scoring twice, to take his tally to 13 in the last nine matches.

Josh Home-Jackson, Richard Hodgson and Mattie Weirs scored the other goals. Jack Bradbury scored Stokesley’s consolation.

Ryhope CW manager Gary Pearson said; “It wasn’t the greatest quality game on a very hard, bobbly pitch, but there were some good individual performances which collectively resulted in a well-deserved 5-1 win.”

Stokesley manager Nicky Ward said; “We matched them for 70 minutes then wheels fell off in the last 20 minutes. The lads gave it all, no complaints. Jack Bradbury was superb again.”

Northallerton Town easily won 4-0 at Birtley Town.

Josh Knox put Northallerton in the lead after 5 minutes, then Aaron Ramsbottom pounced on an error for the second. Knox headed the third, then Ben Darville chipped the keeper to make it 4-0.

Northallerton manager Danny Mellanby said; “It was a good three points on a difficult surface.”

South Shields, who are hopeful of good news about a return to the town soon, beat Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 4-0.

Shields scored twice in the first eight minutes through Chris Feasey and Ben Riding, and after Ryton had defender Mark McMeekin red carded, Barrie Smith and Paul Kane scored in the second half.

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