SUNDERLAND RCA’s plight at the bottom of the Ebac Northern League First Division worsened with last night’s 1-0 defeat by fourth-top Whitley Bay at Meadow Park.
The Wearsiders have been in free-fall recently and with only two games to play, desperately needed a win but the outcome was decided in the 15th minute when Paul Chow, who is nearing 50 goals for the season, drove into the net wide of goalkeeper Mark Foden.
The Seahorses continued to have the upper hand in the first half but RCA hit back during the second period. Their best chance came when Gary Shaw delivered a good finish but Bay’s reserve goalkeeper Michael Hammond was equal.
RCA remain fifth from bottom but because they fielded an ineligible player at Billingham Town, will almost certainly start Saturday’s fixture at home to Billingham Synthonia with six fewer points which will plunge them into the drop zone.
South Shields’ relegation was confirmed despite the fact they shared the points with Consett at Belle Vue Park.
The Mariners held the Steelmen for an hour when the deadlock was broken as Luke Sullivan made space for himself and fired into the roof of the net from 25 yards.
Shields were back on level terms within 10 minutes. Jonny Wightman’s shot was saved by keeper Chris Elliott and Colin White put away the rebound.
Penrithstruck a last-minute equaliser at West Auckland Town to guarantee their place in the top flight come August.
A long ball from goalkeeper Neal Atkinson was latched onto by John Campbell who fired West into a 20th-minute lead.
A minute before the interval, the home side gifted Penrith an equaliser. A miss-placed back pass was gleefully accepted by Richard Faustino who struck from 12 yards.
With 11 minutes remaining it appeared West would win all three points when Mattie Moffat completed a neat move by Campbell and Stuart Banks but in the 90th minute a cross from Curtis Wood was deflected into his own net by Andrew Green for a dramatic equaliser.