Newton Aycliffe are crowned as champions

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CHESTER-LE-STREET extended their recent good form, holding Newton Aycliffe to a draw.

But it was the South Durham side who celebrated on Saturday, as a point was sufficient for them to clinch the championship.

Robbie Draper and Mark Davison twice had the Cestrians ahead, with Elliott Gardner and Warren Byrne (pen) replying.

It was Byrne’s 41st goal of the season.

Who will join Newton Aycliffe in Division One is still all to play for, as the three teams below them all lost.

Guisborough Town remain second after going down to fifth-placed Marske United, whose match-winners were Chris McGill and Anthony Ormerod. David Onions replied from the penalty spot.

North Shields have now taken just two points from their last five games and Paul Moss’s 88th-minute header proved sufficient for Crook Town to beat them.

Team Northumbria stay fourth despite inexplicably crashing to a five-goal defeat at Whitehaven, whose marksmen were Kevin Connelly, Malcolm Holiday, Kevin Law, Stuart Shaw and Darren Donald.

Five teams are competing for the two remaining promotion places, but Whickham’s chances receded with a 2-1 defeat to bottom-of-the-table Morpeth Town, whose match-winners were Connor Andrews and Cameron Patrick. Chris Holmes had equalised.

At the other end of the table, Horden CW are now 10 points clear of the re-election places following victory at Gillford Park where Jack Honour, Kevin Boddy and Tom Green (pen) struck after Paul Ferris had given the hosts a half-time lead.

Seaham Red Star slipped back to third from the basement after losing to Northallerton Town, despite a brace of goals from Jonathan Monaghan cancelling out early strikes by Martin Butterworth and Peter Bulmer.

Bulmer restored the advantage to the home side, who finished strongly with two goals by Darren Mowbray, brother of Middlesbrough manager Tony.

Washington are also in the bottom five after sharing the points with Thornaby, who went in front courtesy of Jordan Morgan before Nicky Martin levelled.

Spennymoor Town took another step towards retaining the First Division championship when they won at Sunderland RCA, pictured right, and two of their nearest rivals both lost.

Michael Laws found space and beat goalkeeper Gary Hoggeth at the near post before Adam Johnston produced a delicate chip midway through the second period.

Although Shildon remain second, their title hopes have all but ended following a loss of form.

Their latest defeat was against South Shields, whose match-winners were John Ryan and David Colvin. Sonny Andrews had equalised.

Third-placed Consett also went down when Billingham Synthonia just about ended their relegation fears, winning with an only goal by Chay Liddle.

Newcastle Benfield moved into fourth with an exciting victory over Bishop Auckland at Heritage Park.

Chris Bell and Wayne Gredziak had Bishops two goals in front, but Benfield roared back with goals from Kevin Leighton (2), Scott Fenwick and Chris Feasey. In the last minute Darren Richardson made the final score 4-3.

Ryton, who were already relegated before the weekend, gained only their fourth point, holding Billingham Town to a draw.

Stephen Freyne and Josh Watson gave them the cushion of a two-goal lead, but Billingham Town hit back with goals by Glen Butterworth (pen) and Stephen Flockett.

Esh Winning’s relegation was confirmed when they could only draw with Dunston UTS. Brian Fairhurst netted before goalkeeper Jake Johnson punched the ball into his own net for UTS’s equaliser when impeded by defenders.

A number of sides are battling to retain top-flight status. West Allotment Celtic occupy the last relegation place, but their hopes of avoiding the drop improved when Michael Latimer scored the only goal in his team’s victory over Norton and Stockton Ancients.

Jarrow Roofing, who were without a fixture, are now fourth from the basement, with Stokesley immediately above them after holding Ashington to a draw.