Sunderland RCA hang on to win in Northern League thriller

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SUNDERLAND RCA consolidated their mid-table position after a seven-goal thriller with Billingham Town.

Neil Hixon’s side were 4-1 in front by the 32nd minute thanks to Keith Graydon (2), John Toft and Carl Beasley. James Middleton had levelled at 1-1.

Even when Stephen Jones unfortunately turned the ball into his own net just before the interval, RCA looked in no danger.

But, six minutes from time the Teessiders were thrown a lifeline by Steve Flockett.

The Wearsiders held on for a 4-3 victory, though.

Spennymoor Town powered their way to the top of the table with an exhilarating performance against mid-table Ashington at The Brewery Field.

There was simply no stopping Jason Ainsley’s side once they went ahead through Gavin Cogden on 14 minutes.

Cogden struck again and when Craig Ruddy also beat overworked Colliers goalkeeper Karl Dryden, there was no way back for the visitors, who conceded further goals in the second half to Stephen Richardson and Adam Johnston.

Moors are level on points with Consett, who were deposed from pole position by Bedlington Terriers.

All went well for the Steelmen when Jonjo Dickman and Gavin Barton had them two goals up until the 78th minute.

Alex Benjamin reduced the deficit and instoppage time, Anthony Shandran claimed a dramatic equaliser.

Shildon’s fixture at Dunston UTS was postponed, but they remain third ahead of Newcastle Benfield, who were grateful for Adam Scope’s 87th-minute winning goal at Norton and Stockton Ancients.

Carl Richards gave the home side a first-half lead and two minutes into the second period Kevin Leighton equalised.With time running out, Scope delivered a clinical finish wide of James Provett.

Three players were sent off in an eventful game between West Auckland Town and South Shields.

Chris Winn gave the Mariners a half-time advantage and early in the second half Chris Lunn levelled.

Mattie Moffat failed with a penalty for West after 56 minutes and 15 minutes from time Lee Paul Scroggins was shown a second yellow card.

In injury time the Mariners went down to 10 men as goalkeeper Josh Carmichael and West’s Jonathan Gibson were both shown red.

In Division Two, leaders Newton Aycliffe won 5-1 at Hebburn Town and second-top Guisborough Town recorded a similar result on their visit to Seaham Red Star.

Robbie Bird was on target for Red Star, with David Onions (3), Luke Bythway and Shane Henry responding for the visitors.

Chester-le-Street failed to halt North Shields’ winning form.

Steve Robinson, Andy Bowman and Keith Douglas (2) earned the Robins three points, which keeps them comfortably placed in third position.

Craig Winter was Northallerton Town’s matchwinner at Washington, Craig Tait’s goal was sufficient for Birtley Town against Thornaby, while Horden CW went down 4-2 at Whitehaven, where Gary Redman scored both the Colliers’ goals.