BIRTLEY Town secured their first Ebac Northern League Second Division points with a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Brandon United last night.
Craig Suggett broke the deadlock on 50 minutes with a direct free-kick and three minutes later, he was again on target with a well-placed header.
After conceding the lead to James Wilson, Norton and Stockton Ancients hit back to finish 2-1 in front of Darlington RA thanks to Gary Mitchell (pen) and Dale Mulligan.
In Division One, Newcastle Benfield went nap at home to Celtic Nation who are not the force they were last season.
Paul Brayson bagged a brace with Lewis Scorgie, Jack Errington and Michael Riley, with the best goal of the five, all beating Celtic goalkeeper Adam Coward.
Thomas Atkinson was an early marksman for Newton Aycliffe and 75 minutes elapsed before Connor Lowes just about made sure of the points at Crook Town.
Former goalkeeper Karl Dryden, who only moved to Morpeth Town during the close season, denied Ashington a point as Morpeth edged a 2-1 victory. Shaun Taylor and Michael Chilton were their marksmen with James Novak on target for the Colliers who had the chance on 75 minutes to level but Andrew Johnson’s spot kick was well saved.
Billingham Synthonia and Consett shared in an eight-goals thriller which ended 4-4. Michael Mackay bagged a brace with Luke Sullivan and Adam Nichols also on the mark for the Steelmen. Michael Sweet (2), Luke Richardson and Jack Bradbury responded for Synners.
When they trailed to a Robbie Bird goal, Bedlington Terriers had goalkeeper Sean McCafferty and captain Joe Kendrick sent off simultaneously on 80 minutes. Paul Chow converted the resultant penalty and after Terriers halved the deficit in a goalmouth scramble, Whitley’s Craig McFarlane received his marching orders.
North Shields produced an excellent performance defeating fancied Guisborough Town 3-0 with two goals from Dean Holmes and one by Gareth Bainbridge - the ENL’s top scorer last season.