Johnston shatters Esh to steer Red Star into second

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SEAHAM Red Star moved into second place in Division Two with a last-gasp win at lowly Esh Winning.

Brave Esh led from the third minute courtesy of Gary Draper’s goal.

It wasn’t until the 57th minute that Lee Kerr – who has signed a contract to stay at Seaham after his loan from Shildon – rifled in the equaliser with a clinical finish from 18 yards.

Four minutes from time, Adam Johnston headed in Seaham’s winner.

Mark Collingwood’s side are seven points adrift of leaders North Shields who took another step towards promotion when they saw off Alnwick Town 3-0.

Alnwick gamely held their own until early in the second period when Michael Tait and Ryan Carr struck within the space of seven minutes.

Just before the end, Dan Smart made sure of all three points for the Robins.

Jarrow Roofing had a free day and slipped back to third, while West Allotment Celtic remain fourth after coming from behind to beat bottom club Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.

Leigh Shickle delivered an excellent finish from 20 yards to give Ryton a half-time lead, but Robert Nolan bagged a quickfire brace early in the second half to turn the match around.

Fifth-top Heaton Stannington suffered a setback, losing 4-3 at Whitehaven.

Chester-le-Street are out of the promotion race, but they continued their climb up the table with a 3-2 victory at Stokesley SC.

Three of the goals came in the first eight minutes. Craig Marron converted a second-minute penalty for the Cestrians.

But the home side quickly hit back through Greg Peel and Rhys Kelly.

Stephen Telford restored parity on 48 minutes and Michael Hepplewhite struck Chester’s winner on the hour.

Washington comfortably defeated seventh-top Northallerton after establishing a two-goal advantage in the first eight minutes, thanks to ace marksman Chris Winn and Paul Kane.

A minute before the interval, Winn was again on target to seal the 3-0 victory.

Thornaby ended with nine men but held onto a two-goal lead against Birtley Town, with Joe Melvin netting twice.

Shaun Davis was red-carded on 80 minutes and right at the end Rickie Phillips was also dismissed.

Tito Davidson’s goal was sufficient for South Shields against Norton and Stockton Ancients at Peterlee.