CHESTER-LE-STREET consolidated a top half of the table position in the Ebac Northern League Second Division with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Willington at Chester Moor Park last night.
In the early-season fixture at Hall Lane, the Cestrians were second best but manager Colin Wake’s side gained ample revenge.
They made a dream start when Michael Hepplewhite buried a shot into the net from the edge of the penalty area after only seven minutes.
The visitors quickly rallied but failed to find an equaliser and when Hepplewhite struck again with another clinical finish, they faced a formidable challenge.
Willington’s hopes just about ended on 76 minutes as Craig Marron delivered a fierce drive from 35 yards which flashed past goalkeeper Kyle Etherington.
Jarrow Roofing moved into fourth place with a 3-1 win at Tow Law Town. A powerful header by captain Dan Kirkup set Richie McLoughlin’s side on their way and in the second period Andy Appleby bagged a brace with two fine opportunist efforts.
The Lawyers reduced the deficit within a minute of conceding the third goal but Scott Thompson’s strike was too little too late and Roofing comfortably saw out the final 14 minutes.
Following back-to-back defeats, Whickham regained form at Darlington RA whose earlier challenge for one of the three promotion places has just about been extinguished.
Ian Robson broke the deadlock on 34 minutes, firing a penalty past goalkeeper Matt Calvert and two goals in nine early second-half minutes ended the home side’s hopes. Mark Fitzpatrick struck from close-range and he was again on the mark with a strong drive from 18 yards.
An eventful game at The Belle Vue stadium ended with honours even when Consett met Penrith but it was a close call for the Steelmen.
Aristote Guerin Lakonga headed them into a 23rd-minute lead but on the stroke of half time the home side had Carl Piecha sent off for a foul on Matthew Reid. Jordan Little though fired the spot kick wide.
Worse was to follow for Little who was red-carded in the 79th minute and within a couple of minutes Cameron Wilson fired in Penrith’s equaliser.
The Cumbrians went ahead with six minutes left on the clock as Steven Rigg fired in a tremendous effort from 40 yards but a minute into added time Consett grabbed an equaliser with regular marksman Michael Mackay firing into the bottom corner of the net.
Spennymoor are still in contention for honours on four fronts and they produced another excellent performance in defeating a Gateshead XI 2-1 in the third round of the Durham Challenge Cup.
Anthony Peacock volleyed wide of goalkeeper Alex Baird after 26 minutes but within 11 minutes Liam Hatch levelled, heading in Jack Gurr’s cross from the right.
Moors clinched victory with a second goal after 65 minutes when Dan Taylor ran onto a through ball and finished powerfully past goalkeeper Alex Baird.
West Auckland Town also reached the semi-finals but had a narrow escape at home to Billingham Synthonia before dominating extra-time to go through 6-2.
Mattie Moffat was an early scorer before Synners equalised through Michael Sweet a minute after the interval.
West went down to 10 men on 62 minutes with the sending off of Phil Gray. He was the last man, bringing down Aidan Cattermole and from the resultant free-kick Keiran Edwards put the visitors ahead.
The tie was deep into added time when Moffat was brought down by Tom Bott and John Campbell netted from the spot.
West celebrated their escape and romped home in extra time as Moffat and substitute Campbell both completed hat-tricks.
Bishop Auckland were comfortable 3-1 winners against Team Northumbria in the Third Round of the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup at Heritage Park.
When Kieran Megran’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Andrew Jennison, Tom Butler pounced and shortly afterwards he struck again, latching onto a through ball from Craig Hodgson.
Bishops went three up with Danny Brunskill finding the net after Jennison had punched clear a Stuart Thompson cross and although Liam McNamarra took advantage of culpable defending to reduce the arrears, Bishops were comfortable in holding on to a two-goal cushion.
Celtic Nation’s hopes of completing the double ended at Woodhorn Lane where Ashington won 2-0.
Glen Taylor, Andrew Johnson and Kyle Oliver combined for Darren Lough to give them a third-minute advantage and on 22 minutes Johnson went past his marker and stabbed the ball wide of the advancing Dan Lowson.