The Philadelphia face a promotion decider against Wingate Cons tomorrow – when a draw will take them up from Division Three.
Phili kept up their promotion bid with a hard-fought 2-1 victory in their penultimate match, but were pushed hard by relegated bottom club Boldon Colliery Tavern.
Boldon started off like a team possessed and scored in the first minute, when Paul Cornish fought his way into the penalty area and bulleted home a header from a very good cross .
The Philadelphia – after getting a “flea in their ear” at the break – levelled a minute into the second half. After good approach play, Paul Russell beat the home defence and slotted the ball in the bottom right corner of the net.
Phili began to take control, and they grabbed what proved to be the winner on 64 minutes. Russell had the ball on the edge of the area and slipped it through to Mickey Grieves, who hit his low shot, firmly into the bottom left corner of the net.
Boldon kept fighting, and Phili were relieved to hear the final whistle.
Now it all depends on tomorrow’s meeting at Herrington CW, when Wingate Cons, fresh from a 2-1 win over Oddies, must win to leapfrog their hosts.
Willow Pond ended their campaign with a 4-2 defeat at Richmond Town and sit eighth, though they could be overtaken by two clubs.
A minute’s silence remembered former Willow player and manager Chris Moan, who passed away after a long battle against terminal cancer.
Richmond’s opener arrived when Willow’s Dave Kelly dribbled past two players but then gave away possession, with the hosts breaking quickly to set up Danny Magowie, who gave keeper Mark Wilkinson no chance.
Magowie netted again before the Wearsiders rallied, when Keith Thompson’s through ball allowed fit-again Lee Brown to beat the right-back and smash in a shot which keeper Andrew Scullion could only palm into the net.
Ricky Butler made it 3-1, poking home past second-half keeper Ronald Bulmer, but Willow responded as Dean Cassidy scored with a fine 30-yarder over the keeper’s head.
Willow pushed for an equaliser, but Magowie had the last word, completing his hat-trick, beating Mark Redpath (Willow’s third keeper of the game) after showing good skills.
Washington JFC Biddick Inn could not delay Wallsend Winstons’ promotion party, despite forcing a 2-2 draw.
Rolls-Royce beat Hartlepool Stag & Monkey 3-2 to finish sixth.
Woodhorn Lane need to win their final two games to stand a chance of survival, despite a 3-0 win over already-relegated Sedgefield Black Lion.
Penshaw Catholic Club rocked title-chasing Marden with a fighting display to secure a 2-2 Premier Division away draw. Marden will retain the title if they win at Tudhoe Black Horse tomorrow.
Steels King Bros maintained their late-season push up to fifth-bottom, edging relegated Blyth Sea Horse 1-0, while Ryhope Foresters lost 3-0 at Wallsend Community, whose win guaranteed safety, with Hebburn Town relegated.
Washington Sandpiper are promoted as the third-top side in Division One, but their season was ended by a 5-0 defeat to Heaton Stannington, who are now seven points clear in second place with only one game left each after a 2-0 midweek win over Consett.
Pelton Crown were relegated after crashing 4-0 in a six-pointer against St Mary’s College, who will be safe if North Ormesby Vets fail to win their final game against Heaton Stannington.
Thornley Celtic must beat visitors Mill View SC tomorrow to pip Seaham Marlborough, a point better off and with a superior goal difference, to the Division Two title.
Hylton CW are the third promoted side.
Mill View were beaten 3-1 at Peterlee Helford last week. Mid-table Horden Sportsmans lost 4-2 at Durham Stonebridge before defeating Hartlepool Catholic 3-0 in midweek. The Hartlepool side and South Shields Catholic Club are in the relegation places, but, as two teams have withdrawn from the division, only bottom club Cobblers Hall go down.
Ivy Legends’ dreams of cup glory were dashed in the Fourth Division’s Billy Lorraine Cup final, succumbing 3-1 to New Marske Sports Club, who are set to be runners-up to Newcastle East End in the league.
Oddfellows Arms lost 6-0 to Newcastle East End, while Colonel Prior were pipped 2-1 by Durham County Strollers, who are promoted in third place.
Wearmouth CW stages the last final of the season tomorrow, when Cramlington Burton House meet Hartlepool Touchdown, with the Kenny Ball Cup up for grabs (10.30am kick-off).