STL Northern League
by Malcolm Pratt
IT remains nip-and-tuck at the top of the STL Northern League First Division after three of the championship-challenging sides won by the odd goal.
Consett regained pole position when they came from behind to defeat Stokesley 2-1.
Adam Emson delivered a powerful finish from just inside the penalty area to score his second goal in as many matches since a transfer from Bishop Auckland.
Early in the second half Jamie Poole headed in the equaliser and Consett clinched three crucial points with a penalty from Mark Eccles on 75 minutes.
David Turner was deemed to be the last man when he brought down Daniel Craggs and was shown a red card.
Spennymoor Town are second and Shildon third after they also won by the odd goal in three at Norton and Stockton Ancients.
The home side led through David Alderson until the 77th minute, when Stephen Johnson rifled in a low shot for the equaliser.
The game was into stoppage time when former Norton striker Sonny Andrews lobbed the ball over the advancing James Provett and drove into the empty net.
There was only one goal at Newcastle Benfield and ex-South Shields player Chris Feasey was the scorer against his old club.
Benfield dominated for long periods, but it was not until the 71st minute that Feasey chased a lost cause and slotted the ball wide of Jonathan Carmichael.
In Division Two, North Shields are third after hammering Hebburn Town 6-1, with goals by Keith Douglas (2), Jonathan Hall, Dan Pattison, Andy Hay and Rob Livermore.
Colin McKenzie’s penalty was all Hebburn had to show and just before the end, the South Tynesiders’ woes were compounded with the dismissal of Dan Hall.
The three Second Round Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup ties produced no fewer than 18 goals.
Birtley Town crashed out at Darlington RA, where Martin Roper scored twice for the visitors. Garry Barnes rifled a hat-trick with Michael Barnett, Gavin Swankey and Paul Freary also on target for RA, who have scored six times in each of their last two games.
Marske United went through 5-2 at Thornaby and, in a close result, Team Northumbria edged Northallerton by the odd goal.