Northallerton Town manager Danny Mellanby quit after Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by Billingham Synthonia – even though they’re firmly in the Ebac Northern League Second Division promotion race.
Mellanby, who had a brief spell as manager of Newton Aycliffe last season, said; “I resigned with immediate effect after an unacceptable home defeat. The fans and the fantastic committee deserve better. It’s been noted in the last few weeks that players have struggled to be motivated for games. Let’s hope someone can come in and change their mentality.”
Mellanby’s decision comes just a few days after club chairman Peter Young stood down for personal reasons.
Former Northallerton striker Jamie Clarke put Synners into the lead with a looping header on 10 minutes, then Mattie Osmond hit the second with a shot in off the bar. It was 3-0 on 21 minutes when Clarke fired another.
Synners are now up to ninth, and are unbeaten in their last seven league matches.
Newton Aycliffe had the best result of the day in the First Division, winning 5-0 away at Durham City.
Aycliffe have signed former Darlington striker John Campbell from Jarrow Roofing, but he didn’t get on the scoresheet.
After a goalless first half in which Aycliffe had the edge, Aycliffe took the lead with a powerful 25 yarder by Zak Boagey, and they never looked back.
Dennis Knight made it 2-0 when Durham keeper Lee Barrass couldn’t hold a Jordan Laidler free-kick and the ball fell for him, then within 3 minutes Knight bagged another.
Boagey made it 4-0 with another long distance special, then Jonny Gibson scored the fifth with 5 minutes left.
Aycliffe manager Peter Dixon said; “I thought we did well in the second half after I had a pop at the players at half time. I thought their keeper kept them in the game in the first half.”
Durham manager Ian Chandler said; “All I’ll say is, that our stand-in keeper had a disastrous afternoon and was unfortunately responsible for four of their goals. The fifth looped in over his head.”
Shildon recovered from last week’s home defeat by Consett to win 2-1 at Ashington and stay four points clear at the top.
After Marc Doninger headed just wide for Shildon, the Railwaymen took the lead with an excellent 25-yard free-kick by Lewis Wing, and then skipper Gary Brown made it 2-0 with a header from a Wing corner.
Wing was unlucky with another free-kick just before half-time, but in the second half Ashington improved and Ben Harmison scored at the second attempt.
Ashington assistant-manager Ian Skinner said; “We defended too deep in the first half and surrendered too much possession with two setplays costing us two goals. At half time we made a couple of small changes tactically and we got a foothold in the game. At 2-1 we had the majority of possession but couldn’t get the equaliser.”
Shildon manager Gary Forrest said; “I thought our players showed a great improvement in their attitude and desire after last week. I thought we defended very well when Ashington put us under pressure in the second half. Paul Connor and Lewis Wing were the difference between the two sides.”
Fourth-placed Guisborough Town have now failed to win any of their last three league games after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sunderland RCA at the King George.
It looked good for them when Luke Bythway beat RCA keeper Jordan Harkess all ends up with a 30-yarder into the top corner, but RCA equalised through Steve Callen from the corner of the box.
It was nip and tuck after that, and Guisborough regained the lead with a header by Danny Earl from a corner. However, RCA’s Joe Melvin earned his side a point with a 25-yarder that beat Nick Liversedge.
Guisborough manager Chris Hardy said; “It feels like a defeat after leading the game on a couple of occasions. To concede so late in the game makes it disappointing.”
Sunderland RCA manager Marty Swales said; “I thought we started the game slowly and went a goal down to a wordly, but we also scored a wordly near the end. I’m happy to come away with a point against a strong Guisborough side. We’re unbeaten now in seven games.”
Morpeth Town kept the pressure on Shildon in second place by beating Jarrow Roofing 3-1.
Michael Chilton gave Morpeth the lead with a header, and he made it 2-0 after 17 minutes when he scored from a low cross.
Alex White pulled a goal back with a header from a Corey Barnes pass, but sub Jordan Nellis deflected a low cross into the net 10 minutes from the end.
Morpeth manager Nick Gray said; “It was a tough game. Jarrow never gave up and made it hard for us, but happy to get three points when we weren’t at our best.”
Jarrow Roofing manager Richie McLoughlin said; “I thought we did ok and played some good football, but we need to take chances.”
Dunston UTS had only conceded three goals away from home before their away game at North Shields, but that figure is now up to five after they were beaten 2-1.
Shields took the lead with a 30 yarder by Michael McKeown into the top corner, then Ben Richardson made it 2-0 with a free-kick from the same distance.
Steve Richardson pulled one back for Dunston when he scored from a left wing cross. Dale Burrell nearly equalised for Dunston, who had midfielder Dan Smith sent-off for two yellows.
West Auckland Town are now six points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table after they lost 3-1 at Consett.
West keeper Robbie Stockburn saved an early penalty from Michael Sweet, and West stayed in the game until Luke Sullivan put Consett into the lead with a shot that went in off the post.
In the early minutes of the second half Sweet scored from a Ryan King pass for 2-0, but Tommy Marron pulled one back when scored following a good run.
However, Consett sub Michael Mackay beat two defenders and fired home the third for his seventh league goal of the season.
West Auckland manager Andy Campbell said; “We’re not as good as we should be. We need to be braver, and we’re conceding too many goals.”
Bishop Auckland are now just two points above the relegation zone after they were beaten 2-0 at West Allotment Celtic.
Allotment took the lead when a headed clearance by Bishop keeper Mark Bell outside his area went straight to Sam Walton, who chipped the ball back over him into the net.
Bishops almost equalised through Scott Thompson, but he his effort was well saved by Dan Mullen.
Allotment then went 2-0 up when Walton set up David Webster to score. They had Ian Lee sent-off for two yellows, and Bishops nearly pulled one back when Arjun Purewal’s header hit the bar.
Bishop Auckland manager Steve Riley said; “We had enough chances to win the game but were lacking in the final third of the field. Credit to West Allotment they defended very well but we need to be more clinical than we were on Saturday. The injury to Fred Woodhouse played a big part as we lost that bit of wuality which he gives us.”
Washington are still unbeaten in their ten league games after they beat Norton & Stockton Ancients 3-0 at Nissan.
Chris Winn gave Washington the lead with a header after 27 minutes, then Jonny Butler fired the second before half-time.
Winn wrapped up the points in the second half from a Mark Davison pass.
Norton manager Deano Browne said; “We were poor and tired from the midweek game. Washington were bigger, stronger and more experienced and fully deserved the three points.”
Washington manager Steve Hutchinson said: “It was a well deserved win. I was happy to score three goals and not concede. It was a great performance from the lads.”
Seaham Red Star gained some breathing space near the bottom of the league by winning 3-1 at second-bottom Bedlington Terriers.
Seaham had some good early pressure, and took the lead through Paul Gardiner from 25 yards.
Bedlington equalised through Ryan Drane with a tap in, but Seaham regained the lead through Darryl Donnelly from a corner before half time. Seaham made sure in the second half through Dan Robinson.
Seaham have placed striker Sonny Andrews on the transfer list.
Newcastle Benfield are now in the bottom five after they were beaten 3-0 at home by Penrith.
Nathan Waterston put Penrith into the lead with a bullet from 35 yards, and in the second half Martyn Coleman fired the second into the bottom corner for his 11th league goal of the season. Stephen Logan finished off the scoring.
Newcastle Benfield manager Steve Bowey said; “We didn’t have the threat up front. We dominated for long spells without creating any real goal scoring opportunities. They scored two wordly goals but we lost the game 3-0, which tells a story in itself. We just aren’t doing enough in both boxes to win games.”
In the other Second Division games, a huge crowd of 1,045 saw South Shields beat Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 4-0.
They took the lead when Julio Arca’s cross was knocked down by Andy Bulford for Lewis Teasdale to score after 12 minutes, and they went 2-0 midway through the second half when Adam Curry set up Warren Byrne to score.
Arca scored the third in the last minute with a curler from the edge of the box, and in stoppage time Lee Paul Scroggins headed in an Arca corner.
Leaders Chester-le-Street had a good 2-0 away win at Easington Colliery.
Jake Stafford gave them a first half lead, but it wasn’t until the last minute that Scott Heslop made the game safe with his 15th league goal of the season.
Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “It wasn’t the best of games, but we came away with three points and haven’t performed to our recent high standards. So performance-wise we weren’t happy but points-wise, we’re delighted to pick up maximum points.”
Promotion contenders Team Northumbria were soundly beaten 4-1 at Tow Law Town, who produced their best performance of the season.
Sam Reid put a backpass through his own goal to give Lawyers the lead, then Adrian Bailey and Craig Barker made it 3-0. Robert Spence pulled a goal back, but recent signing Adam Burnicle made it 4-1.
Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “It was a superb display, victory was well deserved.”
Darlington RA also slipped up, by 4-2 at home to Brandon United.
The visitors went into a 3-0 lead with goals by Dean Thexton (2) and Kieran Duffy-Weekes, but the RA hit back through Sam England and Nathan Wilson. However, James Ellis made sure for Brandon.
Sunderland Ryhope CW are now third after they beat Heaton Stannington 3-1.
Ryhope led with an early volley by Damien Stevens, but Heaton levelled after 15 minutes through Adrian Watson.
Ryhope went back into the lead with a long range effort by Stevens before half time, and after 10 minutes into the second half Simon Ord got the third.
Ryhope CW manager Gary Pearson said; “It was a great reaction from the midweek disappointment, but I honestly didn’t expect the lads to perform as well as they did. From start to finish we dominated the game, producing some real quality and pre hard work when not. The lads have now set their own standards which we’ll expect every week.”
Heaton Stannington assistant-manager Geoff Walker said; “We were second best, we didn’t deserve anything. We were missing a few players, but no excuses, the better team won.”
Thornaby ran riot against second bottom Esh Winning, beating them 9-0 at Teesdale Park.
Nathan Steel scored a hat-trick, with Gary Mitchell (2), Curtis Edwards, David Lofts, Theo Furness and Lee Bythway getting the others.
Esh Winning manager Chris Blakelock said; “Too many injuries and people missing. Thornaby gave us a lesson.”
Crook Town won for the second time in 48 hours, beating Stokesley SC 3-0 at the Millfield.
Josh Bynoe, Phil Caley and Callum Lough scored for Crook.
Crook manager Gary Anderson said; “After a hard game on Thursday night, we went into the game with tired legs and it showed in the end. We started brightly and should have had a bigger lead going in at half time but for two bad refereeing decisions. The second half was very scrappy, but we saw it out and took our chances to get a good result.”
Stokesley manager Craig Winter said; “It was a case of missed chances and mistakes. We dominated the game, but again we missed chances and lazy shape killed us. We had eleven players missing as well.”
Willington’s new manager Gary Innes tasted defeat in his first game in charge when they were beaten by a last minute goal at home by Alnwick Town.
They got off to a good start when Danny Lee scored from a 20th minute penalty, but James Jackson levelled for Alnwick. Will Preston put Willington back into the lead before half time, but Rob Baker equalised direct from a corner for Alnwick, and in the last minute Jackson scored the winner.
Innes said; “I’m disappointed. We had two great chances when we were 2-1 up and should have had a penalty. Even though we conceded a late winner, there are plenty of positives to work with.”
Billingham Town drew 1-1 with Hebburn at Bedford Terrace.
New signing Chris Dickinson gave Town the lead, but Channon North levelled for Hebburn in the second half.
Hebburn manager Scott Oliver said; “It was a fair result. The game was too open for my liking. We need to realise that we are in a battle at the bottom, as other teams have improved.”
Billingham Town manager Barry Oliver said; “I was disappointed with the second half performance. We have to learn to punish teams when we have them on the back foot and I thought we let them off the hook in the first 25 minutes.”
Birtley Town won their local derby 3-2 at Whickham, thanks to a last minute penalty by Matthew Soulsby. Jak Mitchell and Damon Ellis scored Birtley’s other goals, while Chad Collins and Craig Brook replied for Whickham.
Birtley manager Tony Boakes said; “It was a great three points for us.”
Credit: Ray Simpson