Ebac Northern League round-up

Morpeth Town gave themselves breathing space in the relegation battle when they comfortably won the bottom-six clash with Hebburn Town at Craik Park

Morpeth Town gave themselves breathing space in the relegation battle when they comfortably won the bottom-six clash with Hebburn Town at Craik Park.

First-half goals by Steven Anderson, Michael Chilton and Sean Taylor set them on their way and Chilton struck again after an hour to complete a comprehensive victory.

The four goals also helped Morpeth’s goals difference which is by far the best of the six sides at the basement.

Bedlington Terriers are also involved in the relegation scrap and although they went down to Billingham Synthonia, for whom Fred Woodhouse scored the only goal, they will be greatly encouraged by the performance of a young side.

Sunderland RCA are another team battling for survival.

David Lee’s side gained three crucial points when they shocked Whitley Bay by taking a two-goal lead via Kyle Morris and Joe Hughes before Chris Reid replied late in the game.

Team Northumbria’s mini-run of three wins and a draw came to an end at Ashington, who scored four times in the second half courtesy of Andrew Johnson (2), Marc Walton and Glen Taylor before Paul Antony claimed a 93rd-minute consolation for Team, who are third bottom.

Hebburn Town and Billingham Town look doomed. Hebburn’s defeat at Morpeth leaves them second from bottom with just nine points out of a possible 87, while Billingham’s plight is even worse.

A seven-goal rout by Spennymoor Town means they have just three points from 30 matches and a massive goals difference of minus 128.

Life is a lot more rosy for fourth-top Spennymoor, whose marksmen on Teesside were Joe Walton (3), Liam Henderson (3) and Anthony Peacock.

The see-saw battle between Shildon and Celtic Nation took another twist and it is the Durham side who are now in pole position after victory at Consett with goals from Paul Connor and Ben Wood.

Newcastle Benfield toppled Celtic Nation who went ahead at the Sam Smith ground through Martyn Coleman before a superb Paul Brayson hat-trick swept Steve Bowey’s side to victory.

West Auckland Town are third, but they had a narrow escape before defeating Guisborough Town 4-3.

With the game into added time, West trailed 3-2 but alevelled thanks to Warren Byrne and then grabbed a 94th-minute winner through John Campbell, with his second goal of the game. Dennis Knight was West’s other marksman with Michael Roberts (2) and Daniel Johnson, scoring his 40th goal of the season, on target for Guisborough, who remain sixth.

North Shields won the match of the day in Division Two to maintain a six-point lead.

Jarrow Roofing arrived in the knowledge victory would lift them into third but the Robins chalked up an 11th consecutive win with strikes from Dean Holmes and Gareth Bainbridge after Liam McBryde had netted for Roofing.

West Allotment Celtic, who defeated Alnwick Town on Friday night, stay second and Heaton Stannington are third after being held to a draw by sixth-placed Norton and Stockton Ancients.

Jonathan Wright, with his 30th goal of the season, produced a good finish after half an hour but almost immediately Nicholas Martin levelled for the Teessiders.

Seaham Red Star moved into fourth with a seven-goal rout of Willington, who had goalkeeper David Moffat sent off when they trailed by three goals.

Adam Johnson converted two penalties in a hat-trick with Connor Winter, Lewis Wing, Shaun Reay and Josh Home Jackson also netting.

At the bottom, there was a rare win for Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, who beat Esh Winning with counters from Scott Gunn and Tom Phillips.

Dunston UTS avoided a banana skin in their Durham Challenge Cup-tie at Hartlepool.

They went through at a canter with efforts from Andrew Bulford (3), Jonathan Wightman (2), Gary Shaw, Chris Swailes, Michael Dixon and Dan Craggs (penalty).

MALCOLM PRATT

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