STL Northern League
by Malcolm Pratt
DESPITE losing at Birtley Town, Horden CW will not need to apply for re-election to the Second Division.
They are assured of finishing at least third-bottom ahead of Morpeth Town and Brandon United.
The Colliers trailed by three goals early in the second half against Birtley whose marksmen were Andrew McIntosh, with a brace, and Ben Richardson.
Kevin Boddy threw Horden a lifeline but within a minute Owen Peterson restored Birtley’s three-goal cushion and it was only in the last minute that Ian Tumilty scored for Brian Honour’s side.
Washington are one place and a point above Seaham Red Star, after holding Whickham to a draw at The Glebe.
Joe Mence deflected a corner into his own net but three minutes from time Brett Turner equalised for Washington.
Chester-le-Street lost for the second time in a week to Northallerton Town whose matchwinners were Aaron Ramsbottom and Craig Winter. Ben Johnson replied.
Champions Newton Aycliffe didn’t play.
Guisborough Town remain second following victory at Crook Town thanks to David Onions, Graeme Wood, Austin Johnson and Michael Roberts. Darren Kokes and John Jury replied.
North Shields returned to form with a five-goal mauling of Morpeth Town. Keith Douglas (2), Femi Akinbolu (2) and James Clark (og) were the scorers.
Fourth-top Marske United kept alive their hopes when Stephen Cochrane (2), Carl Charlton and Andrew Rowe earned them valuable points at home to Whitehaven for whom Carl McGrady converted two penalties.
Team Northumbria were taken to the wire by Brandon United and a goal by Mark Fenwick on 83 minutes was all that separated the teams.
Sunderland RCA named only 11 players at Penrith and despite a battling performance lost when Lee Otway beat Gary Hoggeth.
The Wearsiders were awarded a second-half penalty but it wasn’t their day and James Holland made a good save to help the relegation-threatened Cumbrians to victory.
Tonight, RCA host Spennymoor in their Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup semi-final (7.30).
Ryton and Esh Winning are already doomed and several sides are far from safe. West Allotment Celtic are third bottom after losing to championship-contenders Newcastle Benfield whose matchwinners were Shaun Bell, Michael Chilton and Kieron McDonald. Tony Lancaster netted for Celtic.
Jarrow Roofing claimed a crucial point at Billingham Town who are also far from safe.
The Teessiders led with a couple of goals by Glen Butterworth before Kris Hughes and Andy Jennings replied late in the game.
Stokesley beat South Shields thanks to Anthony Hume and Karl Liley.
Spennymoor Town defeated Bedlington Terriers with goals by Calvin Smith (2), Adam Johnston and Michael Rae.
Bishop Auckland halted the Steelmen’s title drive when Wayne Gredziak (2) and Daniel O’Donnell earned a point. Danny Craggs (2) and Dale Burrell were Consett’s marksmen.
Whitley Bay’s 18-match winning sequence came to an end when Phil Bell and Andrew Johnson were Ashington’s matchwinners at Hillheads.