Ryhope back down to earth

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RYHOPE CW, who won both their opening Ebac Northern League Second Division matches and scored 12 times, stuttered when they played their first ever game at their Recreation Park home on Saturday.

James Harmison fired North Shields ahead before Mark Catcheside equalised for the newly-promoted Wearside League champions with a twice-taken free-kick.

The Robins regained the advantage with a tap-in from Femi Akinbola and Keith Douglas added a third goal from the penalty spot to seal a 3-1 success.

Chester-le-Street preserved their unbeaten record and moved into fourth position with a 2-0 victory over Ryton and Crawcrook Albion at Chester Moor Park.

An early goal was just the spark the Cestrians needed. After a corner had been partially cleared, the ball was returned into the middle by Lewis Lynch and Scott Donaldson headed past goalkeeper John Morley.

Immediately after the interval, Morley was beaten again as Mark Nixon delivered a powerful shot which flashed into the net.

The Cestrians suffered a blow after an hour with the dismissal of Nicky Doyle, but they survived late pressure from the visitors.

Seaham Red Star are in the top half of the table after they won 2-0 at Thornaby.

Carlton McCabe headed a corner into his own net for Red Star’s opener then, six minutes from time, Daniel Olusoga crossed for Daniel Gray to just about make the game safe.

Brandon United won for the first time and did so in style when the goals flowed from Scott Hine, Liam Bowes, Gerard Wraith and Owen Lancaster as Alnwick were swamped 4-0.

Newly-relegated Tow Law suffered their first-ever Second Division defeat as Darlington RA finished comfortable 3-0 victors, courtesy of David Webster and Stephen Allison, with a brace.

Andrew Snaith’s 87th-minute goal was all Whickham could muster in a 4-1 defeat at Whitehaven.

Darlington 1883 are the new leaders in Division One after they coasted to a 3-0 victory at Consett.

Former Durham City and Ryhope CW player Amar Purewal headed in a Stephen Johnson centre and worse was to follow for the Steelmen when their defence was split, allowing Shaun Reay to slide the ball home.

Consett thought they had reduced the arrears through Ryan Bell, but he was ruled offside, and on the hour it was just about all over as former Consett player Stephen Johnson rifled Darlo’s third.

Team Northumbria, who have made a useful start to their first top-flight season, outgunned Newton Aycliffe 3-0, thanks to Dan Riley, Tom Davies and Ben Sayer.

Newcastle Benfield picked up their first points with a thrilling 4-3 victory at Billingham Synthonia.

Stephen Young, David Pounder, John Alexander (penalty) and Ian Graham netted for the Tynesiders with Nathan Jameson (2) and Jamie Blyth replying.

Sunderland RCA’s Meadow Park game against Penrith was called off by the referee at 1.30pm because of a waterlogged ground.