WALKER Central striker Paul Collinson finished top scorer in the Tyneside Amateur League last season, and has certainly taken the step up from the reserve team in his stride.
The 22-year-old forward struck four times as Central took a huge stride towards Premier Division survival in an eight-goal thriller at Seaton Delaval.
Collinson headed in the opener from close range and was well-placed to tuck away the second from a couple of yards.
Delaval’s veteran hit-man Trevor Benjamin showed his class with a superb overhead kick to pull one back but ace poacher Collinson was on the spot to fire in when a shot came back off the bar and the number ten turned the ball in from close range again following a goal mouth scramble.
Benjamin added a second before James Walker netted a fifth for the visitors. Paul Katz grabbed the Red Devils’ third late on.
Blyth Town also hit five on the road at Stocksfield with Daniel Long enhancing his reputation with three of them. Long netted his first in the opening minute and had made it 3-0 before Chris Fairless pulled one back.
The Griffins rattled the woodwork and had another cleared off the line before Kyle Devlin, another young player with a big future, cracked in a double to move Town up to midtable safety.
Carlisle City reversed their fixture with Killingworth Sporting and took an early lead as Ricky James crashed home a dipping volley.
But the Cumbrians saw their title hopes dented in the second half as Michael Bowman struck twice, including a 25-yard lob, and Peter Mulholland capitalised on a defensive error to add the other to complete the turnaround.
Amble United are Division One champions and they did it in style with both Josh Hay and Adam Shanks hitting doubles in a 4-1 win over Newcastle Uni to lift the silverware. Ed Savitt scored for the visitors.