Ward sparks City lift-off

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DURHAM City made it third time lucky to grab their first win of the Ebac Northern League First Division season against Sunderland RCA last night.

After drawing their first two games, City came good to storm home 3-0 at New Ferens Park.

A neat move between Paul Dixon and Matthew Scott opened up the chance for Ian Ward to drive past RCA goalkeeper Peter Jameson in the 25th minute.

City passed up the opportunity to double their lead five minutes into the second half. Denver Morris was brought down, but Ollie Hotchkiss’s spot-kick was superbly saved by Jameson, diving full length.

Two goals in four minutes ended any hopes that Neil Hixon’s men harboured of saving the game. After 70 minutes, Stephen Harrison struck with a fine solo effort and Scott Fenwick made it three with a glancing header.

Bedlington Terriers maintained pole position, but they were hard pressed before seeing off a strong challenge from Team Northumbria.

Local lad David Brown was the hero, scoring the only goal with a great strike in the 82nd minute, two minutes after coming on. Terriers had Mark Doninger sent off in stoppage time.

Whitley Bay suffered a fourth consecutive defeat, 3-2 at Marske United.

Bay twice drew level through Paul Chow’s brace, cancelling out efforts from Liam O’Sullivan and Josh McDonald, but John Alexander hit the Teessiders’ winner penalty winner in the 84th minute.

Billingham Town crashed 5-1 at Penrith, with Mark Taylor replying, while big-spending Cumbrians Celtic Nation defeated Guisborough 3-1.

In Division Two, Adam Johnston and Shaun Reay each notched twice as Seaham Red Star hit back from a goal down to outgun Washington 4-1. Stephen Bogie had given the Newtowners the lead.

Dean Thexton had Tow Law in front, but visitors Brandon United rallied for a 3-1 success, thanks to Cyle Hunter-Ogbunjo, Mark Brischuk and John Harrison.

Alnwick Town edged Northallerton 1-0, with Tony Brown producing an absolute screamer with just two minutes left, while Heaton Stannington pipped hosts Thornaby 5-4 in a thriller.

Whickham squeezed home 3-2 at Whitehaven, with Sam McIntosh, Jack Moulding and Steven Aiston on target.