Northern League: RCA rock Morpeth as ex-Black Cats forward Laidler stuns Shildon

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Sunderland RCA dented Morpeth Town’s hopes of ending runners-up in the Ebac Northern League First Division with tonight’s 2-0 victory at Meadow Park.

In an entertaining game, Martin Swales’ side broke the deadlock with an hour on the clock when Stephen Callen set up Jonny Wightman and he slotted the ball wide of goalkeeper Karl Dryden.

Three minutes later RCA again celebrated and for a second time Wightman was the provider.

His defence-splitting pass was picked up by Joe Hughes and he made no mistake.

Shildon’s title challenge took an unexpected set-back at Newton Aycliffe who completed a double when former Sunderland reserve-teamer Jordan Laidler scored all three goals.

Marske United are second, 10 points ahead of Morpeth with the teams having played the same number of games.

Whether Marske can pip Shildon at the post for the title - as they did on the final day of last season - is conjecture but they are giving themselves a fighting chance.

A 2-1 win at Ashington has them 13 points behind Shildon with three games in hand but the South West Durham side still remain favourites since they require just five points from their last three matches.

James Harmison fired Ashington in front and after Connor Hood levelled, the turning point came in the 70th minute.

Colliers’ goalkeeper Conor Grant brought down Reece Kelly and was shown a straight red card. Lee Scott took over and his first task was to pick the ball out of the net after Nathan Mulligan converted the spot kick.

Callum Patton’s penalty earned Whitley Bay a point at Guisborough Town who led for the best part of an hour through Gerard Livingston.