CONSETT took over the leadership of the Arngrove Northern League’s First Division following a 4-2 victory over West Allotment Celtic at Whitley Park.
The Steelmen scored three in the opening 20 minutes through Carl Piecha, Steven Brown and Steve Johnson to take a stranglehold on proceedings and after Keith Douglas pulled one back with a penalty Piecha added his second before Tom Vickers netted towards the end for Celtic.
Billingham Synthonia’s challenge continued but they left it late at Spennymoor before Simon Shaw claimed all three points with only eight minutes remaining.
Tow Law were heading for defeat at Chester-le-Street who would have hit mid table had they held on after Andrew Cuthbertson scored from the penalty spot with quarter of an hour remaining.
However the Lawyers saved a point thanks to a leveller from Marc Eccles six minutes into stoppage time to stay fifth. Sunderland Nissan are sixth after Friday night’s 2-1 success over lowly West Auckland at Darlington Road.
Dunston Federation led twice at Morpeth with Kevin Devine bagging a couple for the Fed whilst Morpeth had Stephen Young and Mattie Halambiec on target. Shildon were indebted to a solitary goal in the 79th minute from substitute Tyson Masters to see off a fighting challenge from basement club Jarrow Roofing.
Three clubs at the wrong end of the table picked up victories. Ashington conceded an early opener against Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics for whom Mark Shearan was on target before the Colliers clinched three vital points with second-half goals from Gary Bailes and Robbie Cockburn. Bishop Auckland also caused an upset with a similar scoreline at Seaham Red Star who opened with a Craig Price effort 10 minutes before the interval. However a brace by Darren Richardson saw Bishops home. Washington scored a goal in each half from Martin Houlahan and Craig Marron (penalty) at Bedlington whilst Billingham Town hit five at home to Northallerton through Steve Huggins, Ross Diamond (2), Tony Chapman and substitute Stuart Banks.
In the Second Division, leaders Birtley Town suffered defeat as Stokesley upset the form book with a 47th-minute winner from Leon Poole. Whickham continued their challenge with a late score from Scott Robson against Sunderland RCA.
South Shields are fourth after goals from Chris Feasey and Lee O’Donovan put them 2-0 ahead against Marske who pulled one back through Liam Phillips.
Ryton suffered a setback after Gary Forbes had cancelled out an opener from Esh Winning’s Craig Coates.
Thornaby and Crook Town drew 2-2 while North Shields picked up three valuable points after edging out Darlington RA in a five-goal thriller.
Norton and Stockton earned a narrow 2-1 victory over Team Northumbria in a clash at the bottom while Roy Allen twice put Horden ahead at Guisborough before the Priorymen ran out 5-2 winners. David Campbell scored a hat-trick with Michael Wilson and an own goal making up the tally.
Penrith enjoyed a 3-0 verdict over Hebburn with strikes by Michael Hodgeson, Barry Irving and Wayne Robertson whilst on Friday night Richard Kent and John Campbell both hit hat-tricks for Prudoe in a 7-1 hammering over Brandon. Stuart Anderson put Prudoe ahead with Anthony Lee claiming Brandon’s consolation point.