ASHBROOKE Belford House became only the fifth side this season to deny Ryhope CW maximum points when they held their neighbours to a 1-1 draw last night, writes Malcolm Pratt.
Tommy Dobbing’s side went ahead 10 minutes into the second half as Michael Charlton’s finish beat goalkeeper Kyle Donaldson.
Although Ryhope enjoyed a lot of possession in the second period, it was not until the 85th minute that they equalised – and it took a penalty to get them back into the game.
John Butler was brought down and took the spot-kick himself, giving Ashbrooke goalkeeper Brett Wilson no chance.
Ryhope are now five points ahead of Redcar Athletic who have a game in hand.
Not many sides come away from Cleator Moor Celtic in midweek with a win but Sunderland West End did when they edged the Cumbrians by the odd goal in three.
Captain Jamie Fryett fired the Wearsiders in front on 20 minutes when his drive from 18 yards came back off a post and hit goalkeeper Craig Devine before trickling over the line.
Almost immediately Glyn Edwards cut inside to fire wide of West End goalkeeper Scott Young but three minutes into the second period, a superb cross from Brad Foster was superbly headed home by David Keighley for the winning goal.
Bottom-of-the-table Coxhoe Athletic, who are hoping to hand the wooden spoon to Silksworth Rangers, closed in on their rivals when they gained a point against Annfield Plain.
Mark Patterson broke from midfield to give the visitors a 70th-minute lead and with just a couple of minutes remaining Billy Snaith restored parity.
Billy Thomas, Shaun Atkinson and James Broadie-Myers were the marksmen in Hartlepool’s victory over Jarrow for whom Anthony Myers had equalised.
*Sunderland RCA were ousted from pole position and it’s extremely unlikely they will return to the top of the STL Northern League First Division.
West Auckland Town are the new leaders after a 3-0 win against Tow Law Town and now enjoy a two-point lead with four games in hand on Neil Hixon’s side.
Relegated Tow Law quickly had their backs to the wall as West went in front on 14 minutes through Paul Garthwaite.
Early in the second period, the home side were awarded a penalty when Ross Preston was brought down and John Campbell made no mistake from the spot.
In added time, Preston was the provider for Campbell to head home and complete a comprehensive victory.
RCA are second with Dunston UTS and Spennymoor Town in hot pursuit. UTS are third, just a couple of points behind the Wearsiders, having played six fewer games.
Their championship hopes remain very much alive following a 2-1 victory at Bishop Auckland, who led through Adam Strong at the halfway stage.
Lee McAndrew levelled as his shot on 69 minutes took a deflection and six minutes from the end, he lobbed Bishop’s goalkeeper Peter Jeffries for a vital second goal.
Spennymoor Town, aiming for a third consecutive championship, are fourth. They left it late before seeing off Norton and Stockton Ancients with goals in the last seven minutes from Leon Ryan and Stephen Richardson.
In Division Two, Esh Winning’s promotion hopes were almost extinguished when they went down to North Shields. Former Blackburn, Aston Villa and Leicester player Graham Fenton took charge of the Robins for the first time and celebrated as James Luccock and Paul Watson were the matchwinners.