SUNDERLAND RCA are now only a couple of points outside the relegation zone in the Ebac Northern League First Division after two results went against them last night.
Wins for Newton Aycliffe and Marske United lifted them above the Wearsiders but there was some good news with Newcastle Benfield, who remain immediately below Neil Hixon’s side, going down to Whitley Bay.
The shock result was Newton Aycliffe’s 4-0 demolition of eighth-placed Bedlington Terriers thanks to goals from Martin Young, Danny Earl (2) and Darren Craddock.
Marske United jumped to eighth from the basement after a 3-0 victory over rock-bottom Norton and Stockton Ancients.
David Onions picked his spot after being set up by Leon Carling and early in the second half Scott Mathewman pounced for a second.
Onions was then twice denied before John Alexander wrapped up all three points.
Newcastle Benfield struggled after conceding a first-minute goal to Paul Chow and Whitley Bay were comfortable 4-2 winners.
In the second period, Stephen Young drove in the equaliser but Whitley soon regained the initiative and roared into a three-goals lead courtesy of Chris Fawcett, Dylan Blake and Chow.
The game was into stoppage time as Brian Douthwaite scored a second consolation for Benfield who are now fifth-from-bottom, just a point outside the drop zone.
Consett won 2-0 at Guisborough Town with two goals from Michael Mackay.
Darlington 1883 took another step towards the championship with victory over Celtic Nation. The only goal came in the 12th minute. David Dowson’s shot rebounded from the post to Stephen Thompson, whose initial effort crashed back off the crossbar and he made no mistake at the second attempt.
In Division Two, Morpeth Town are still in contention to claim one of the two remaining promotion places after they clinched three crucial points against lowly Thornaby.
The Northumbrians were rocked on 15 minutes when Jamie Blyth’s drive from the edge of the box took a deflection on its way past keeper Jak Wells.
Andrew Keenan levelled with a clinical finish after half an hour and early in the second period Michael Chilton turned and struck home from 15 yards.
West Allotment Celtic enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 victory over Washington.
Shaun Reid bagged a brace of goals and Stephen Little also netted before Michael Latimer converted an 85th-minute penalty for the Newtowners who conceded a fourth goal to Michael Bell in the last minute.
Darlington RA have an outside chance in the promotion race after they went nap at home to Stokesley SC with goals by hat-trick hero Steve Allison and Martin Butterworth (2).
Marcus Laing struck a dramatic 91st-minute winner for Northallerton Town for whom Ian Smurthwaite (pen) had cancelled out Craig Rook’s first-half goal for Whickham.