HORDEN Sportsmans eased to a 5-1 Third Division victory at Willow Pond.
Willow started the better side, but Darryl Burns gave Horden the lead and Billy Scott quickly made it two.
Willow got one back after some sloppy defending, but Horden went on to win comfortably, man of the match Scott completing his hat-trick and Burns grabbing his second.
Mill View WMC claimed a superb 4-1 success at Shildon Grey Horse to stay five points clear at the top, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn lost 2-0 at Wallsend Winstons, Boldon Colliery Tavern squeezed home 3-2 at Trimdon Vets, after twice trailing to efforts from Colin Wharton and David Foster, and Thornley Celtic outgunned Hartlepool Greenside 5-1.
The Philadelphia climbed to fifth place after a 4-1 defeat of Hartlepool Stag and Monkey.
Paul Russell made the breakthrough w ith a 10th-minute penalty, but a defensive mix-up allowed Stag to quickly level.
Phili’s pressure, though, told in the second half. Neil Machin cut in from the left and placed his shot beyond their keeper and into the bottom corner of the net. Machin then unleashed a terrific shot for 3-1, before Steve Spencer forced home the fourth in a scramble.
Blue House beat South Shields Catholic Club 2-1 to climb to 10th place in Division Three. David Kennedy and Neil Hixon, who fired the winning goal, did the damage, with Keith Thompson and Steven Dunlop the Wearsiders’ stand-out performers.
Peterlee Helford halted their run of defeats with a tremendous 4-2 win at third-placed Wearmouth CW.
The home team started strongly, but Brian Huitson gave Peterlee a fifth-minute lead. Wearmouth quickly levelled, then went ahead before the break. The Sunderland side dominated the second-half possession, but Helford’s man of the match, John Hunt, pulled off a string of fine saves.
Helford were rewarded for his heroics when Jamie Priestley curled in a 75th-minute equaliser from the edge of the box. Ten minutes later, Priestley chipped in a second, and he sealed his hat-trick with a clincher right on full-time.
Houghton Cricket Club enjoyed the perfect start to their clash with Wingate Constitutional, storming into a four-goal lead in the first 20 minutes.
David Simpson’s cross was turned into the net for an own goal as Wingate rallied, but the cricketers hit a fifth before Simpson’s well-taken hat-trick got the hosts back into it at 5-4.
Houghton held firm under pressure and bagged a clinching sixth five minutes from time.
Humbledon and Plains Farm were good 2-0 victors at Deneside WMC, Hylton CW overcame CSSC Darsley Park 3-1 and Coxhoe Red Lion edged home 1-0 against second-top Langley Park Rams Head.
In the Premier Division, Easington CIU put in a spirited display against Steels SC but lost 2-0. Dave Swann hit the post with CIU’s best chance, but Steels held on, despite being reduced to 10 men.
Washington Cross Keys were pipped 3-2 at unbeaten Cramlington Burton House, while South Shields outgunned Billingham Swan 5-1 and leaders Marden were held 1-1 by Spennymoor Salvins.
Ferryhill Greyhound lost 2-0 to Hartlepool Touchdown, with Jason Lappin and Neil Kennedy scoring, while Hebburn Town drew 1-1 with Darlington Shuttle and Loom in a poor match.
Gary Rogers, normally a keeper but playing up front, had Hebburn in front, but a mistake by stand-in goalie Neil Scarth handed Loom their leveller.
Ryhope Foresters enjoyed a good 3-1 First Division win over Hartlepool Catholic, but also missed two glorious chances for an even bigger victory.
Pelton Crown led Hartlepool Gillen Arms, but were pegged back for a 1-1 draw, while Dubmire lost 3-1 to Redcar Newmarket and table-toppers Penshaw Catholic Club shared the spoils in a four-goal showdown with Gateshead Rutherford. Grindon Broadway scrapped well for a goalless draw at Consett.
Waldridge Park consolidated fourth place in Division Four, edging a 3-2 win over Billingham Vets.
The Chester-le-Street side hit three unanswered first-half goals before Darren Harrison and Gary Butterworth replied.
Leaders Oddies pipped Sedgefield Black Lion 2-1 in a battle of the top two, while Colonel Prior lost 3-1 at Durham City Strollers and Chaplins were sunk 5-1 by Heighington Bay Horse. Ivy Legends fell 4-1 to Woodhorn Lane.
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