Pressure’s off at Durham City

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DURHAM City eased their position near the bottom of the Ebac Northern League when they hit Celtic Nation for six at New Ferens Park on Saturday, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

The first half, though, was evenly contested when both sides scored three times.

Stephen Archibold was a second-minute marksman for the Cumbrians but by the 12th minute City were ahead courtesy of Conor Winter and Craig Ellison.

Within three minutes Archibold struck again and after Scott Fenwick regained the lead for Adam Furness’s side, Craig Wilson restored parity from the penalty spot.

Durham had the better of the second period and finished 6-3 winners with further goals by Ricky Fenwick, Winter and an Ollie Hodgkiss penalty.

Durham are now sixth from bottom, nine points ahead of South Shields who prop up the table after losing at Team Northumbria for whom former Washington striker Peter Watling netted both goals.

Norton and Stockton Ancients are second from the basement and Billingham Town are back in the drop zone after losing a seven-goals thriller at Hebburn Town.

After taking the lead courtesy of Nicky Martin, the Teessiders trailed to strikes by Johnny Davis (pen), Paul Gardner, Stuart Nicholson and Tony Stephenson.

All appeared lost but following Daniel Wray’s 82nd-minute goal, Stephen Flockett reduced the deficit to just a single goal but Hebburn held on.

There was good news for the teams chasing leaders Darlington 1883 who unexpectedly went down to lowly Newton Aycliffe for whom Danny Earl bagged a brace of goals. The Quakers’ only reply was credited to Amar Purewal.

Two goals in as many second-half minutes from Gary Ormston and Sam Norris earned Newcastle Benfield the points against Marske United who led for a long period through Leon Carling.

Penrith took advantage of Guisborough Town having Mark Casey sent off in the 27th minute. By then though they led through Andrew Murray-Jones, Martin Coleman and Robert Bowman and easily held on to a three-goals lead.