A POINT was not the greatest result, but manager David Lee will be hoping that Saturday’s draw against Guisborough Town will kick-start what has been a disappointing start to the Ebac Northern League season for Sunderland RCA.
The Wearsiders failed to gain anything from their first four games, but, encouragingly, came within a whisker of claiming all three points.
With the game into the last minute, Ross McNab, grandson of former Sunderland favourite Jimmy, rattled the crossbar.
It was Guisborough who struck first at Meadow Park when Nathan Mulligan gave goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael no chance with a thunderous shot from 25 yards after only six minutes.
Carmichael took a knock later in the opening half and had to be substituted by Carl Morris at the interval.
The replacement keeper kept a clean sheet and the only goal came at the other end where Lewis Wood headed an Anthony Coe cross into the net on 67 minutes.
A year ago this week, Bedlington Terriers led the First Division but then plunged and only just avoided relegation.
They’ll no doubt bear last season in mind and not be too ready to celebrate moving into the top six with victory over Morpeth Town, courtesy of Jordan Nellis and Dylan Williamson.
Late in the game, Sean Taylor cut the deficit but Terriers held on and are now level on points with fourth-placed Marske United and Durham City.
After conceding to Jamie Hope and Matthew Read (pen), Whitley Bay rallied to take a point at Penrith with goals by Michael Laws and Robbie Bird.
Billingham Synthonia won for the first time in six games, defeating Celtic Nation thanks to strikes by Nathan Porritt (2) and Michael Sweet.
After going two goals down to Tony Atkinson and Stuart Owen, Crook Town levelled when David Pinkey and Jason Brazauskas struck but Newton Aycliffe scored three times through Scott Oldfield, Paul Broom and Zac Bogie in the last 10 minutes to secure a 5-2 win.
In Division Two, Team Northumbria continue to lead the field following their five-goal drubbing of Stokesley SC, when Lewis Storey (2), Mark O’Dea, Glen Dibb-Fuller and Paul Anthony netted.
Ryhope CW are second, four points off the leaders. They, too, won 5-0 as the goals flowed from Jack Pounder with a brace, Nathan O’Neill, Richard Hodgson (penalty) and Phil Hall against lowly Esh Winning.
Birtley Town started well but have lost their way. They were hammered 7-0 at Heaton Stannington, whose marksmen were Lewis Burns (3), Michael Creswick (2) and Gary Yates (2).
Will Forsyth gave Ryton and Crawcrook Albion a 19th minute lead which they held for almost 70 minutes.
John Honour levelled for Chester-le-Street and ,in added time, Ben Johnson fired the Cestrians in front.
But there was still time for Lee McGill to make the final score 2-2.
South Shields hit Thornaby for six with strikes from Paul Kane (2), Stephen Ramsey, Colin White, Chris Feasey and David Molloy while, in contrast, Liam Whitworth’s single goal proved enough for Willington at bottom-of-the-table Brandon United.