PACE-SETTERS Sunderland RCA were forced to come from behind to preserve their unbeaten start to the STL Northern League First Division season last night, writes Malcolm Pratt.
Lowly visitors Marske United looked on course for a shock success at Meadow Park, storming two goals ahead thanks to strikes from Chris McGill and Adam Wheatley.
But Ryan Stewart reduced the deficit for Neil Hixon’s men and there were only 10 minutes remaining when Mark Davison slotted in the equaliser.
Dunston UTS maintained their early-season title challenge, defeating Newcastle Benfield 1-0 with a Ben Cattanach strike, while West Auckland are also up with the leaders following a seven-goal blitz of newly-promoted Guisborough Town.
Mattie Moffat rifled a hat-trick, with Michael Rae (2), Paul Garthwaite and Martin Young also on target.
Liam McPhillips, Luke Bythway and former Horden striker Chris I’Anson replied for Guisborough, who at one stage trailed by six goals.
Esh Winning sprang a surprise in the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup when they won at South Shields with a Chris Smith goal.
Ashington joined Spennymoor and Hebburn Town in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup following last night’s victory at Vauxhall Motors.
After a 3-3 home draw at the weekend, a second-minute Andrew Johnson goal proved to be the winner in the rematch.
Ashington will host Guiseley in the next round, while Moors visit Witton Albion and Hebburn tackle Radcliffe Borough.