Northern League: Shildon look like needing three wins to pip Marske United to the title

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THREE teams are left in the running for the First Division championship, with Shildon probably needing to win three matches to pip Marske United.

The Railwaymen hit relegated Celtic Nation for six as the goals flowed from Mark Doninger, with a hat-trick, Billy Greulich Smith, Ben Wood and Chris Emms (penalty).

Crucially, Shildon now have an identical goal difference to new leaders Marske United.

Five points separate the sides, but Shildon have three games to play, while the Teessiders have just one.

Marske maintained their momentum on Saturday, defeating Bishop Auckland 5-3 with strikes from Danny Brunskill (2), Reece Kelly and Jamie Owens (2). Andrew Johnson and John Butler (2) replied for Bishops.

Marske will be crowned champions tomorrow night if they beat Celtic Nation at home and Shildon fail to win at Sunderland RCA.

If both Marske and Shildon win, then Gary Forrest’s side would have to triumph in both of their final two matches – away to Durham City on Saturday and at Bedlington Terriers on April 29.

FA Vase finalists North Shields are also in the race but are now rank outsiders following a heavy 4-0 defeat by Dunston UTS, for whom Dale Burrell, Gary Ormston, Andy Bulford and Lee McAndrew scored in the second half.

Guisborough Town needed to win their final game at Morpeth Town but went down 4-3 in a thriller and are now out of contention.

Dan Taggart, Chris Jewels and Michael Hall had the home side three goals up, but the visitors produced a storming rally to level thanks to Danny Earl, Callum Martin and Liam McPhillips. The outcome was on a knife edge and it was Morpeth who came out on top when Jewels hit a late winner.

Sunderland RCA raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of Clayton Davis and Joe Hughes but then conceded five to Consett’s Jack Walker, Mattie Slocombe, Josh Gray, Chris Moore and a Lee Bythway own goal.

Stephen Bogie managed a third goal for the Wearsiders, but they were killed off by a sixth Consett strike, when Michael Mackay notched in added time to complete a 6-3 win.

Durham City went down 2-0 to Ashington, whose marksmen were Jonathan Giles and Kyle Oliver.

Darlington 1883 look set to miss out on automatic promotion in the Evo-Stik League’s Division One North.

Saturday’s goalless draw at Lancaster City left Martin Gray’s men five points behind leaders Salford City, with two games to play – at Warrington Town tomorrow and at home to relegated New Mills this weekend. Salford just need to win their final match to confirm the title.

Darlo, if they finish second, will meet Spennymoor Town in the play-off semi-final. Moors, held 0-0 at Radcliffe Borough, are guaranteed to finish fifth.