WITH clubs looking at playing three or four games a week in the run in to the season’s finale, stamina as much as skill may play a factor in deciding who lifts the Championship trophy.
Ponteland United boss Jarrod Suddick will not be concerned that his side have played two more games than closest rivals Alnwick Town as he would rather have the points on the board.
United stretched their advantage to five points with Alnwick inactive as they won 3-0 at Walker Central.
Goals from Glen Ford and Andrew Davidson put the black and whites ahead at the break while Harry Tulip added number three.
Third-placed Carlisle City’s title chances evaporated in a goalless stalemate at Gateshead Rutherford while their neighbours Harraby CC have games in hand but a 1-1 draw with Heaton Stannington left them playing catch up. Adam Donaghey shot Heaton in front in the 26th minute with Steve Archibald levelling in the 66th.
Blyth Town and Shankhouse also shared the points that saw Mark Andrew’s early header for Blyth cancelled out by Ant Moran.
Malcolm Morien scored twice for Percy Main Amateurs in their 3-2 win at Wark with Jonathon McEnaney getting the other. Mark Elliott and Thomas McAlindon scored for the hosts.
While it is tight at the top, it is also becoming a mad scramble to avoid the drop at the bottom.
Murton were unlucky not to win as Tom Wilkie’s opener was only cancelled out by Ashington Colliers’ Sean McAfferty.
Stocksfield are in real trouble after a 5-0 defeat at Killingworth Sporting with goals from Jorge Bollardo, Carl Common, Liam Callaghan, Paul Dunn and an own goal piling on the misery and Cramlington Town remain on the bottom after a 4-1 defeat at home to Seaton Delaval Amateurs.
Steven Anderson, Steve Howes, Craig Cook and an own goal made up the Delaval tally with Keiran Parsons netting for Town.