SUNDERLAND RCA were dealt a cruel blow when they conceded an 89th-minute winner to Marske United in last night’s Ebac Northern League First Division game.
The Seasiders went ahead after only five minutes when a quick throw by Liam O’Sullivan was helped on by Danny Earl to John Alexander, and he gave goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael no chance with a good finish.
The Wearsiders though hit back on 10 minutes as Gavin Barton headed in a corner and three minutes into the second half with a free-kick from just outside the penalty area was blocked by Marske goalkeeper Oliver West and Kyle Fryatt tapped the ball into the net.
RCA held the lead until the 74th minute when Earl was on target with a good header following a corner, but just when it seemed David Lee’s side would gain a point, Adam Wheatley beat Carmichael with only a minute left on the clock.
West Auckland Town consolidated third place with victory over local rivals Bishop Auckland at the Seagrave Stadium.
A crowd of 410 saw the former Barnsley player Dennis Knight leave Bishop goalkeeper Scott Pocklington helpless with a tremendous strike from 25 yards.
A minute before the interval West went down to 10 men when Phil Gray was shown a straight red card but they held on for a crucial victory and although they are seven points off the top, have five games in hand on leaders Shildon.
Ashington moved into fourth place when they surprisingly saw off the challenge from Newcastle Benfield with comparative ease.
Craig Scott set them on their way with a header on 12 minutes from an Andrew Johnson corner and immediately on resuming, Kyle Downey volleyed home from 20 yards.
Just before the end David Carson cemented a 3-0 victory when he drove past goalkeeper Andrew Grainger following a neat move involving Glen Taylor and Lee Scott.
Hebburn Town remain second-bottom after they were hit for six by Whitley Bay at Hillheads. Scott Oliver’s side faced a monumental challenge after conceding a hat-trick to man-of-the-match Paul Chow in the opening 24 minutes.
James Novak made it four with an excellent strike from 25 yards and before the interval Chow took his personal tally to four. Although the second period was less eventful, Whitley added a sixth goal through promising youngster Alex Kempster.
In Division Two, Washington’s recent unbeaten sequence was ended by Tow Law Town at the Nissan sports complex.
Paul Kane gave them a 20th-minute lead before Anthony Lee levelled two minutes into the second period.
The Lawyers then went in front courtesy of Lewis Wing only for Mark Davison to restore parity, however, with 15 minutes remaining Wing clinched victory for the visitors when his direct free kick beat the wall and Washington goalkeeper Neal Atkinson.
Birtley Town led until the 85th minute at Jarrow Roofing before having to settle for a share of the points. It was nip and tuck all the way and after Dan Halliday headed in a free kick, Jarrow levelled with a close-range finish by Liam McBryde.
The game at Peterlee was held up for 25 minutes because of an injury to an assistant linesman. West had gone in front through Chris Douglas after only a minute and following the interruption South Shields levelled on 73 minutes with a Stephen Ramsey penalty.
Celtic regained the advantage courtesy of Shaun Reid and five minutes from the end Peter Henderson earned the Mariners a point.
Shields’ Barrie Smith was sent off in the 43rd minute and a minute later Celtic had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Andrew Hunter.
Whickham will replay their FA Carlsberg Vase Third Round tie against Brighouse Town at the Glebe next Tuesday after the sides finished 3-3 in West Yorkshire. Stephen Aiston, Andrew Farrey and Ian Robson netted for the Tynesiders.
H CELTIC Nation have a chance to move back into pole position in the ENL First Division when they line up against sixth-bottom Morpeth Town at Craik Park tonight.
A close contest is anticipated between Dunston UTS and Consett with both sides on the same number of points in the top half of the table.
Billingham Synthonia, who went out of the FA Carlsberg Vase at the weekend, will be anxious to put points on the board by defeating Guisborough Town.
The biggest gate of the season is expected at the Daren Persson Stadium for the Techflow Northumberland FA Senior Cup Quarter Final tie between North Shields and Newcastle United Reserves.