SHILDON returned to the top of the Ebac Northern League First Division on goal difference from Spennymoor Town despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Whitley Bay last night.
The Railwaymen made a dream start, taking the lead after only eight minutes.
Ben Wood picked the ball up in midfield and carried it to within 25 yards of the goal before curling a beautiful shot into the top right-hand corner of the net which, giving Bay goalkeeper Thomas Kindley no chance.
In the 26th minute, however, Shildon suffered a double blow. Jamie Harwood was sent off for a foul in the box and, from the resultant penalty, Paul Chow equalised.
From then on, Shildon were on the back foot and did well to stay in the match. They handed debuts to Craig Ruddy and Lee Kerr, who were both transferred yesterday from Spennymoor Town.
Morpeth Town moved out of the bottom three when they shared the points with Bedlington Terriers.
Terriers’ Dylan Williamson fired past goalkeeper Stephen Mundy from 15 yards, but, immediately on the restart, Morpeth restored parity with a Michael Chilton penalty, awarded after Stephen Forster had been brought down.
In Division Two, South Shields moved out of the bottom six when they held promotion challengers Norton and Stockton Ancients to a 2-2 draw on Teesside.
Norton’s Dale Mulligan fired in a rebound after only a minute, but, within 60 seconds, the Mariners were back on level terms as Andrew Thompson drove through a packed penalty area.
Gary Mitchell restored the hosts’ advantage after half an hour, but, for a second time, Shields hit back quickly, with Anthony Burnell firing past advancing goalkeeper David Knight.
Northallerton moved to the top of the table with a 4-2 victory at home to Whitehaven, who played 55 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of James Parker.
Darren Kokes (2), David Elgie and Danny McLachlan struck for the home side, with Alex Kell and Nathan Dryden replying.
Crook Town defeated North Shields 4-3 after extra time in the FA Carlsberg Vase first round replay at the Millfield.
Adam Nichols bagged a brace, including the winner, with Elliott Woods and Warren Byrne also on target for Crook. Gareth Bainbridge (2) and Kevin Hughes replied for the Robins.
Just before the end, Crook’s Richard Hodgson was sent off.
Gary Pearson’s side will now visit Dunston UTS in the second round on November 16.
H Ashbrooke Belford House’s Wearside League game against Annfield Plain was postponed.