Northern League: Washington survive despite last-day defeat at impressive Ryhope CW

Josh Home-Jackson fires in a shot for Ryhope CW against Washington on Saturday. Picture by Kevin Brady
Josh Home-Jackson fires in a shot for Ryhope CW against Washington on Saturday. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Ryhope CW ended their debut top-flight campaign on a high note, following a 4-2 home victory against Washington.

The Mechanics, too, could afford a smile after avoiding relegation, following third-bottom Guisborough Town’s defeat to champions South Shields.

Stephen Callen heads home Sunderland RCA's opening goal at Consett. Picture by Gary Welford

Stephen Callen heads home Sunderland RCA's opening goal at Consett. Picture by Gary Welford

Gary Pearson’s Ryhope have been renowned for entertaining goal-fests in home matches and Saturday’s six goals took the tally to 102 in 21 games.

Lee Chapman fired Ryhope in front midway through the first half against Washington, and Tom Bott doubled the advantage five minutes before half-time.

Washington grabbed a lifeline when Jake Pickard pulled one back on 42 minutes, but Ryhope responded with two goals in as many minutes, courtesy of Josh Home-Jackson and James Ellis, to finish the first half 4-1 to the good.

The Mechanics had the better of the second half but managed just a solitary reply, with Pickard converting an 82nd-minute penalty to cut the deficit to two goals.

Sunderland RCA hat-trick hero John Butler heads down for Stephen Callen (10) at Consett.

Sunderland RCA hat-trick hero John Butler heads down for Stephen Callen (10) at Consett.

But their safety was confirmed when the result came through from Guisborough, who went down gallantly in a 3-2 defeat to South Shields.

Former Sunderland youngster Jordan Blinco gave the Mariners a second-minute lead, but, in the 15th minute, Stephen Roberts flicked the ball home to equalise.

Long-serving Shields man Barrie Smith regained the visitors’ lead, latching onto a through ball and firing them in front again.

Carl Finnigan tapped home from close range to make it 3-1, although Louis Goldsack had the last word for Guisborough, heading home in stoppage time.

Shields’ travelling support boosted the crowd to 963.

Sunderland RCA enjoyed a great result at seventh-top Consett, winning 5-0.

The aim now will be to secure a top-10 finish by beating Penrith in tomorrow’s final game of the season at Meadow Park (7.45pm).

RCA will go into the game in good spirits. At Consett, Stephen Callen headed home a deserved opener on 32 minutes and he made it 2-0 in the 66th minute, running onto a through ball and slotting home with a classy strike from the corner of the box.

John Butler then took command of the game, ending up with a brilliant hat-trick.

His first goal came in the 78th minute. He struck again in the first minute of stoppage time, after beating the offside trap, then completed his treble from the penalty spot, after being fouled by Jake Stafford, two minutes later.

Relegated Chester-le-Street finished off with a 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle Benfield.

Paul Brayson’s excellent 24th-minute goal was added to by John Campbell.

Shildon, champions last season, ended up in fourth place, completing their season with a 2-1 win at West Auckland.

Ibby Hassan headed West in front on 17 minutes, but Shildon rallied to win it in the final eight minutes. Adam Burnicle fired home to equalise and, with three minutes remaining, Matty Robson converted a spot-kick winner.

West have announced ex-Shildon boss Gary Forrest as their new manager for next season, assisted by Stuart Niven, Paul Connor and Keith Finch.

Morpeth, with a game left at Newton Aycliffe tomorrow, are certain to be runners-up, following a 4-2 home victory over fifth-top Marske United.

Liam Henderson, Sean Taylor and Jordan Fry (2) struck for the Highwaymen as they moved to 101 points, with Danny Earl hitting both replies.

Long-time leaders North Shields defeated Newton Aycliffe 3-1 to finish in third place, with 101 points.

Gareth Bainbridge (2) and Lee Mason notched for the Robins, while Alan Harrison replied.

Whitley Bay won 4-1 at Penrith to end up sixth. Chris McDonald, Kyle Patton, Alex Kempster and Liam Brooks did the damage. Andy Murray-Jones replied.

Jarrow Roofing - whose magnificent end-of-season run has secured a 12th-place finish - won 3-2 at Ashington, thanks to strikes from Michael Mackay and two-goal Chris Winn, with Ben Sampson and Dale Pearson replying.

Injury-hit Dunston UTS eased to a 3-0 victory away to bottom club West Allotment Celtic, with Dan Halliday, Richard Slaughter and Ryan Drane all on target.

The two league games - Newton Aycliffe v Morpeth Town and Sunderland RCA v Penrith - tomorrow night round off the season, before a series of cup finals take centre stage.

North Shields will take on Evo-Stik League Premier Division champions Blyth Spartans in Wednesday’s Northumberand Senior Cup final at St James’s Park (7.30pm), while South Shields head to Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park to meet Billingham Synthonia in the Durham Challenge Cup final on Wednesday, May 3.

Shields tackle North Shields in the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup final at Whitley Bay on May 6, before the big one, the Buildbase FA Vase final against Cleethorpes at Wembley on Sunday, May 21.