Northern League: Wilkinson’s late rescue act ends Durham City’s miserable losing run

Ryhope CW (red/white) battle against Crook Town. Picture by Kevin Brady
Ryhope CW (red/white) battle against Crook Town. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Durham City’s losing sequence is over at last – but it was a close call in Saturday’s First Division game at Seaham Red Star.

The game was deep into added time when Ross Wilkinson drove in the equaliser following a well-directed free-kick by Aidan Haley.

Another defeat for Chris Moore’s side was on the cards, even though the Citizens were twice ahead. With just a minute gone, James Moore made quick progress down the right and his cross was turned into the net by Jack Carr for Durham’s opener.

Soon afterwards, Seaham levelled as Paul Gardiner delivered a clinical finish from 20 yards after being set up by Robbie Bird, but Durham were back again and went in ahead at the interval as Carr struck his second goal.

It was David Palmer who spearheaded Red Star’s second-half comeback. After 68 minutes, Kyle Bell and Harrison Scott combined and, when the ball was released to Palmer, he fired past City goalkeeper Tom Flynn to make it 2-2.

With only five minutes left, it looked as if Palmer’s far-post header would be sufficient to earn all three points for the hosts – and extend City’s long spell without a win.

But Wilkinson came up trumps in the 94th minute and the point earned in a 3-3 draw lifted the Citizens out of the relegation zone.

The third-bottom spot is now occupied by Whitley Bay, who lost a seven-goal thriller at Consett.

Dan Hawkins, Ryan Cummings, Luke Sullivan and Michael Sweet were the matchwinners, with Adam Shanks, Michael Laws and Paul Kane replying.

Bay boss Ian Chandler’s woes were added to in stoppage time when Whitley had Chris McDonald sent off.

“We scored our first goal since I took over and getting three was a plus,” said Sunderland-born Chandler. “I felt we improved on the two previous performances, but we’ve got to keep it going, starting against Guisborough tomorrow.”

Norton and Stockton Ancients, whose fixture with Sunderland RCA was postponed, stay bottom and Bedlington Terriers are above them after gaining a vital point at North Shields.

Gareth Bainbridge powered in a 74th-minute header for the Robins, but, 10 minutes from time, an in-swinging corner by Mark Dummett evaded everyone and went straight into the net to level it up.

Despite scoring first through Kerry Hedley, Jarrow Roofing succumbed 3-1 at home to Marske United, who are still in with a chance of retaining the championship.

Luke O’Sullivan, Reece Kelly and Adam Preston were the Teessiders’ marksmen.

West Allotment won 2-0 at Dunston UTS where David Henderson and Sean McRoberts (pen) scored late on.

West Auckland rallied to beat Ashington 2-1. Ben Harmison headed the Colliers in front, but, after Adam Burnicle restored parity, he took the man-of-the-match plaudits with his 83rd-minute winner.

Newton Aycliffe moved third with a critical victory over second-top Guisborough.

Mattie Moffat and John Campbell, with a tremendous drive, saw them home 2-0.

Aycliffe are now only four points behind Guisborough with three games in hand.