THE pressure is mounting at Ponteland United and Murton. Both sides are looking increasingly likely relegation candidates after crashing to defeat in important drop-zone battles.
Ross Taylor struck twice for Rutherford as they outfought last season’s champions United, with Shaun Todhunter adding the other from the penalty spot. Chris Flynn pulled one back.
Paul Wintripp drilled in at the back post to cancel out Kyle Houshby’s opener for Percy Main against Murton, but the Villagers took the points with Ben Gardner’s fine individual effort.
Walker Central’s second win on the bounce earned them some breathing space as Alex Clafton pounced to head home from a goalmouth scramble late on and dent Whitley Bay A’s title chances.
Alan Casey dinked in the opener, Matthew Read hit a 25-yard free-kick and Peter Ferris added the other for Harraby CC in a win at Stocksfield that takes them up to third, with Rob Grainey pulling one back, while it ended goalless between Killingworth and Hebburn Reyrolle.
Simon Cunningham and Ashley Smyth netted for Ashington Colliers as they beat Blyth Town, with Jeff Fuller hitting a late consolation and it ended all-square between Shankhouse and Seaton Delaval.
Craig Johnson tucked away the opener for Delaval, but Mark Crennell evened things up soon after.
Heaton Stannington booked a spot in the final of the Kicks Leisure Challenge Cup with a stoppage-time header from Gary McGarrigal against Carlisle City.
Ian Grainger shot the Cumbrians ahead and after Ben Telford had squared things up, Grainger was on hand again to restore the Sky Blues’ advantage.
But they hit the self-destruct button in the second half with an own goal levelling the tie before they were reduced to 10 men for a professional foul in the 70th. McGarrigal was the Heaton hero with a looping header in the 95th minute.