CROOK Town remain two points ahead of Sunderland RCA at the bottom of the Ebac Northern League First Division.
The Wearsiders, though, now have four games in hand and a much superior goal difference.
The Millfield side led last night but could not hold on and succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at home to Guisborough Town.
Crook’s hopes were raised when Kallum Holbrooke struck and after Nathan Mulligan levelled on 23 minutes there was not a good deal to choose between the teams.
But, in the late stages, Crook wilted. Damien Stevens fired the visitors in front in the 73rd minute and, as they pressed searching for an equaliser, Crook left the door open for Danny Earl to cement a 3-1 win in the last minute.
Newton Aycliffe are fourth from the basement following a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Penrith, whose marksmen were Grant Davidson, with a brace, Ryan Hall and Jamie Hope. Stuart Banks and Tom Atkinson replied for Aycliffe, whose cause was hit by having Dan Mitton sent off with just five minutes on the clock.
Norton and Stockton Ancients are the new leaders in Division Two. They edged Tow Law Town with a Harrison Davies goal.
Hebburn Town were deposed from pole position when they conceded a three-goal lead built up by Chris Summers, Channon North and Shaun Reay at Northallerton, whose second-half rally was rewarded with strikes from Dan McLachlan, Aaron Ramsbottom and Damian Riggs to seal a 3-3 draw.
* Vince Kirkup is stepping down as Brandon United manager but will continue as commercial manager. His decision ends 37 years in team management, chiefly at former Wearside League club Stanley United.
The club is seeking applications for manager. Anyone interested should call secretary Barry Ross on 07717 673090 or email email@example.com