Spectacular strikes give Cestrians timely lift-off in the Northern League

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CHESTER-le-Street moved up to almost halfway in the STL Northern League Second Division after edging a thrilling 3-2 win over second-bottom Brandon United last night, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

Dan Corbett squeezed the ball past goalkeeper Kyle Barlow for Brandon’s 12th-minute opener, but Ben Johnson fired in a 25-yard equaliser and Liam McBryde soonn put Chester ahead with a clinical finish from the edge of the box.

Robbie Draper’s powerful drive for 3-1 gave Brandon keeper Ryan Graham no chance, but the Cestrians had to hold on after Phil Robinson cut the deficit.

Horden CW found the going tough at Whickham, whose 3-0 victory lifted them into fourth position with games in hand on the leading trio.

Tony Thirkell stole the show. He lobbed goalkeeper Chris Rookes from 18 yards in the 42nd minute and completed his hat-trick within nine minutes of the restart. heading home after Craig Tait’s shot rebounded from the bar, then converting a penalty for handball.

Seaham Red Star succumbed 4-0 at Gillford Park, with Darren Addison’s double supported by Peter Ferris and Kelvin James.

Tony Sanderson was given a free header and made no mistake for Crook Town to clinch a 1-1 draw at Whitehaven.

In Division One, in-form West Auckland jumped into fourth place, level with Shildon and eight adrift of joint leaders Spennymoor and Consett. Adam Nicholls, Mattie Moffat and Matt Tymon (2) sank Penrith 4-1.

Steven Stewart’s goal was enough for Bedlington Terriers to beat neighbours Ashington, while Andy Jennings made an impressive debut in Jarrow Roofing’s 1-1 draw with Tow Law.

He was involved in the move from which Michael Coghlan cancelled out John Hewitson’s early goal. Jennings later rattled the crossbar from 18 yards.

First Division leaders Spennymoor crushed Newton Aycliffe 5-1 in extra time in their Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup third round tie.

Chris Emms broke the deadlock, but Craig Nichol levelled on 74 minutes. Alex Francis missed a penalty for Moors but, extra time, four goals flowed from Craig Ruddy (2), Michael Rae and Adam Johnston.

Dunston UTS reached the third round with a 7-1 rout of Ryton, the outstanding Lee McAndrew rifling a hat-trick. Michael Hepplewhite, Andrew Armstrong, Terry Galbraith and Andy Bulford also netted.