WEDNESDAY night’s Wearside League fixture between Redcar Athletic and Ryhope CW has taken on added significance following the weekend results of both teams.
The Wearsiders were odds-on favourites not only to win but to win comfortably at Coxhoe Athletic.
However, the South Durham side produced the shock result of the season, holding their illustrious opponents to a draw.
When John Butler struck, Ryhope looked set for three crucial points, but Coxhoe, who end as wooden spoonists, hit back with goals from Vinny Gash and Dan Beaney.
Butler levelled and Richard Jordan then headed Martin Swales’ team in front, only for Gash to score for a second time and earn his side a totally unexpected point.
Ryhope are second, three points behind Redcar, but with a significantly better goal difference than their rivals.
The Seasiders, who could not believe their luck on hearing Ryhope’s result, did not have things all their own way when they played against Cleator Moor Celtic.
So disciplined was the visitors’ defence that they restricted the leaders to only three shots on goal, two of which were converted by Billy Millington and Sam Young.
Ashbrooke Belford House enjoyed victory by the odd goal in five at Kirkbymoorside whose marksmen were Tom Ellis and Sarjo Cham.
David Scott, Glen Moan and Andrew Scott replied for Ashbrooke.
Jarrow and Willington shared the points in a top six clash at Perth Green.
Ryan Burton slotted home on 23 minutes following a goalmouth scramble and in another melee, Willington’s Stephen Howe equalised.
Adam Woodhouse and Watson were Wolviston’s matchwinners at Gateshead Leam Rangers, for whom Robert Allen scored the only goal.
Few games have been postponed this season, but three were called off on Saturday.
Sunderland West End’s fixture with Peterlee Town, Darlington Cleveland Bridge v Boldon CA and Annfield Plain against Stockton Town were all victims of the weather.