FOLLOWING a creditable draw on the opening day of the season, Sunderland RCA eased past Newcastle Benfield in last night’s EBAC Northern League First Division game at Meadow Park.
The Tynesiders, though, didn’t help their cause with some culpable defending. A mistake led to the opening goal after 43 minutes and Conor Winter made no mistake, firing past goalkeeper Andrew Grainger.
On the balance of play, Benfield were unlucky to go in behind but RCA stepped up a gear and edged the second period when they were rewarded with a second goal on 73 minutes by Gavin Barton, who headed in a Josh Home-Jackson free-kick.
Durham City have drawn both their opening games but they left it precariously late before returning from Ashington with a point.
A good run down the left by Andrew Johnson paved the way for Glen Taylor to stab the ball into the net wide of City goalkeeper Rhys Jobling.
It appeared that the solitary goal might be sufficient for the Colliers but with just a minute remaining, substitute Denver Morris headed against the crossbar and Ian Ward turned in the rebound.
West Auckland Town produced an early-season shock when they defeated Spennymoor Town 3-1.
Former Moors player Steven Richardson produced a good finish from 12 yards on 33 minutes but almost immediately Lewis Galpin headed in a right-wing cross from Callum Griffiths for the equaliser.
Worse was to follow for Galpin when, in the 41st minute, he was shown a straight red card for bringing down Gavin Cogden when he was the last defender.
Ten-man West defended superbly and stunned Jason Ainsley’s side by scoring twice in the final 12 minutes, with both goals from Mattie Moffat.
In the Second Division, Chester-le-Street gained their first point at Thornaby where Jack Henderson took advantage of poor defending to fire the Cestrians in front after half an hour.
Midway during the second period, James Broadie-Myers levelled with a volley.
Despite a lack of goals, Washington and newcomers Willington produced an entertaining game when a draw was a fair result. After only two minutes Washington debutant Stephen Bogie hit the crossbar and at the other end Newtowner’s goalkeeper Scott Young saved splendidly from Mark Foster.