Northern League: RCA battlers make life tough for high-flying Morpeth

Sunderland RCA (red) battle against Chester-le-Street in a recent clash
Sunderland RCA (red) battle against Chester-le-Street in a recent clash
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Sunderland RCA pushed Morpeth Town all the way before succumbing to a 3-2 defeat in last night’s Ebac Northern League First Division clash at Craik Park.

Morpeth maintained fourth place after coming from behind to beat the Meadow Park men.

Stephen Callen’s brilliantly placed header from a Colin Larkin free-kick after 19 minutes gave RCA the lead, but Keith Graydon equalised from the penalty spot, firing into the bottom corner of the net, on the stroke of half-time.

Morpeth took the lead after 59 minutes, when Denver Morris bundled home Ben Sayer’s low ball into the box.

It was 3-1 six minutes later, when Joe Walton fired past goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael, finishing off good work from Sean Taylor.

RCA pulled a goal back with two minutes to go, when Colin Larkin converted a penalty, in off the post, but Morpeth held firm to see out the win.

Third-top Shildon secured a 4-2 win at Guisborough Town, who remain deep in relegation trouble.

The second-bottom Priorymen took a 1-0 lead though through Anthony Hume after nine minutes, but Matty Robson cancelled that out eight minutes later, scoring from the rebound after his penalty was saved by Jordan Nixon.

A scorching and brilliant Lewis Wing hat-trick, with goals on 25, 38 and 63 minutes, made it 4-1 to Shildon, before Tom Bligh’s deflected shot cut the deficit.

Stockton Town will play holders Northallerton Town in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup final, after they defeated Durham City 4-3 on penalties in last night’s semi-final.

The game ended 2-2. Stockton took a third-minute lead through Tom Coulthard’s header, but City’s Daniel O’Reilly levelled on 26 minutes.

Stockton regained the lead through Kallum Hannah, when he fired home from the penalty spot, but the second equaliser came on 68 minutes, when Bradley Hird also scored from the spot.

In the TWR Bifolds Wearside League, lowly Seaham Red Star Reserves were outgunned 6-1 by visitors Hartlepool, who moved up to sixth place with the victory.

Poolstook a 3-0 lead through Sam Cook, Paul Moss and John Stephenson, before Red Star pulled one back just before half-time, with Tom Price on atrget. Furthegoals from Jamie Tumilty (2) and Johnny Murray completed Pool’s win.

Prudhoe Town and Annfield Plain played out a 1-1 draw.

Prudhoe opened the scoring after 15 minutes, when Michael Calvert fired past goalkeeper John Morley, but Lewis Teasdale equalised, on the hour mark, after Derek Waters laid the ball back for him to sidefoot into the net.

Cleator Moor Celtic rose to seventh placewith a comfortable 5-0 home win over Stokesley SC.

Leigh Dunn’s treble was supported by Tom Mahone and Harvey Stainton.